Settling in

In order to make your child’s transition to our nursery as easy as possible we invite you to a week of reduced sessions to help with the settling in process. Every child is different. Settling your child into a nursery can take up to three or four weeks, and sometimes longer depending on the age, stage of development and previous experience of childcare. Here are some key tips, that we will help you with:

Introduce your child to a range of noises and different groups of people, including children, before they start nursery. This will help them feel more at ease in the lively environment of a nursery.

Visit the nursery – with your child. Learn what happens throughout the day. Visiting the nursery allows children to become familiar with different parts of their new environment and also to meet staff and other children. This is usually done as part of your settling in programme, however where children are entering the preschool and transitioning from a different provision, some additional visits during the year can be arranged.

Care about and get involved with the nursery. If children see parents at ease, happy and chatting with staff, they are more likely to feel relaxed, developing a stronger sense of confidence and belonging in the nursery themselves.

Bring along a familiar objects from home – like a favourite teddy bear, toys or other materials. These hold positive memories for children and will, by association, help them to develop secure attachments with the nursery.

Be patient. Some children will be happier to join in with nursery life more quickly than others. But if you’re patient, the benefits of your child attending our caring and well-run nursery will soon be clear to see.

On the first morning you will be expected to stay with your child, giving you both a chance to get to know your key worker and introduce you to the routine of the day. We ask that only one parent or career is involved in settling, and not both – otherwise the room can become too crowded with adults! Each day, your child’s sessions will increase and you will discuss with your key worker how long you are needed to stay.

Below is a guide to settling in times, which are flexible to suit your family needs. Children will always settle in the mornings, unless they are in the afternoon-only programme:

Day 1 Home Visit We recommend that day 1 of settling in, is a home visit, where your child’s keyworker comes to your home, and spends up to 2 hours with you and your child, although this is recommended, it is optional.
Day 2 Morning 8am – 9.00am Accompanied
Afternoon 2.00pm – 3.00pm Accompanied
Day 3 Morning 8am – 10.00am Accompanied
Afternoon 1.30pm – 3.00pm Accompanied
Day 4 Morning 8am – 12.30pm Alone
Afternoon 2.00pm – 4.30pm Alone
Day 5 Morning 8.00am – 3.00pm Alone
Afternoon 1.00pm – 5.00pm Alone

Please note that this is just a guide, and settling in arrangements can vary, and depending on the child’s age, stage of development and previous childcare history these arrangements may need to be adapted.

Click here to download a factsheet for parents

Things to bring on your first day:

  • Spare clothes- 2 sets inc socks and weather appropriate
  • Approx 15 nappies
  • 1 pack of wipes
  • Changing mat- muslin/tetra/disposable
  • Nappy cream if needed
  • Sun cream if needed
  • 1 sheet and blanket (weather appropriate)
  • Water cup (NOT a baby bottle 🍼)
  • Milk bottles x 2 (if required)
  • Formula/Breast milk (if required)

Guidelines for parents during settling-in

  • Please listen to staff advice and requests!
  • When it is time to say goodbye, give a kiss and say goodbye. Do not wait for a reaction. AND… no sneaking off! Say goodbye – even if they cry!
  • All children are different- Settling can take up to 4- 6 weeks sometimes, for others in might be faster. Don’t be dismayed!
  • Children will be EXTRA tired when starting gan – (Just like when an adult starts a new job!)
  • Please stick to the times that have been agreed for settling. Staff are expecting you, and have often made arrangements to be freed up when you are there!
  • Sit on the floor and stay still – no need to follow the child around. Be available to comfort and reassure, but not direct their play
  • Feel comfortable to communicate with other children in the space… It’s their Gan and YOU are a visitor!
  • Please refrain from using phones or other communication devices whilst in the gan
  • Leave bags etc on the hooks provided, please don’t put handbags or other personal items in the children’s play space

For many parents it can be weird or awkward coming into the nursery in the first few weeks for your first child. Its not always obvious how you should behave! Should you take responsibility for your child or should you sit back and leave it to the staff? Should you follow your child around? Talk to the other children? All these things are not immediately obvious for new parents coming to a gan for the first time.

Sammy has put together this short home made video with some top tips, to help you feel more comfortable when you coming into the nursery and supporting your child to settle: