There are lots of things that we do to encourage the children, and their parents to feel at ease and settle into the nursery as quickly as possible.

We always want this process to be as stress free for all involved.

This is the way that we aim to achieve this:

  • We send out our ‘new starter’ pack about a month before the family is due to start. This is a suite of questionnaires that we have devised over the years and is incredibly detailed and helps to paint a picture for the room team, before even meeting the new family.
  • Before this our amazing admin team will have been helping and supporting with all of the new things that come with starting at a nursery too, hoping to reduce some of the nerves around starting at a new nursery.
  • Then we offer to attend a home visit. It has been a delight to be able to go out into families’ homes once more and see the children in their own homes.  This allows us the opportunity to get to know them in a relaxed environment, one that they feel at ease in.
  • If we can’t do a home visit for some reason, then trusty video calling has been a real bonus. We have all learnt to do things differently because of the pandemic.
  • Then come the previsits. We don’t specify how many visits that a family might need and are very much guided by the family. Usually it is 3 or 4, sometimes it is less and sometimes more. The number can also flex, depending on how everyone feels these are going.
    • We run these for the two weeks running up to the child’s first day at nursery. These visits become longer over time and also look to cover a sleep and a meal too.
    • They are a great opportunity to also orientate and remind the parents about the setting.
  • On the child’s first day we will have a coat peg with their name on it; a ‘Family Book’ where there is a dedicated picture book of the child’s family.
  • We never use any agency practitioners and always look to keep the practitioner group static. This helps the children bond quickly with an adult.  We don’t specify a key person before the child starts and use this period to see who the child chooses to bond with instead.
  • As part of these initial few weeks, we quickly plan to ‘focus’ on the new child. This means that we pick them to be a ‘Focus Child’ and the whole of the week, our curriculum and teaching, is based on the child, their interests and what they are learning to do now and next.  This gives us the opportunity to really get to know the child. The week starts with us asking the family for their insight into their child and ends by meeting with them too.
  • In-between this, there are lots of extra pairs of hands, cuddles and lullabies. We use slings to keep the children close, so that we can make sure that we are looking after, and playing, with everyone.

In our experience attending the nursery for a minimum of two days really helps babies and children settle into the nursery.  If it is less, then it can feel disjointed as six days and feel like a long time and so the settling process can stall, or even regress.

We are always on hand to help and advice on how to settle each child, and go on a journey with each family, because every child, and their family, is different.

Loving Care