Parents are encouraged to visit the centre as often as possible prior to your child’s first day of attendance without you. During these visits a staff member will show you around the centre and advise you of your child’s expected daily routine.
The settling in process is for both child and parent! After your first visit with your child you may like to leave them in the centre’s care for 10 minutes. On your next visit gradually increase the increments of time that you are away. 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes etc. This reassures the child that even though you are gone, you will return to collect them when you say you will and can often make leaving them for their whole first day run a lot more smoothly.
In the Nursery, children are assigned a ‘primary caregiver’. Please discuss all your child’s needs and requirements with them. Your child will be given the opportunity to build a relationship and bond with their caregiver to make separation less stressful for both child and parent.
When leaving children for the first time, it is important to give off positive vibes and to be encouraging and cheerful about the fun day they are going to have. Prepare them well for what their day might include and reinforce that you will be back to pick them up later.
Leaving your child for the first time is huge! We understand this and are very sympathetic to both parent and child. Most children settle quickly after their parents have left and have the most enjoyable, fulfilling and happy day.
As part of our support program to parents when children are settling, we will text or email you regular updates on your child’s progress during the settling period. In addition you are welcome to phone as many times as you like during your child’s day to get an update on their progress. It is our ‘promise’ if your child is not settling, we will contact you immediately and ask you to come and collect them. This will be followed up with a strategy to settle your child more effectively for their next visit.
Every child is different. Some children are ‘off’ the moment they set foot in
the Preschool and barely have time to give Mum or Dad a kiss and a wave good-bye. Other children will struggle from day one to separate. We pledge to give parents our full support during this process and ask in return that parents make a commitment with us to deal with their child’s separation anxieties. If you are experiencing problems, please try using the following informed and positive techniques:
- Prepare your child for their day. In the car journey or the walk to Preschool talk about what they will be doing during their day.
- Buy a special bag or drink bottle together and tell them it is for Preschool. Make a big deal about it and get them excited.
- On their first day, set out in good time. Don’t rush and try not to transmit any uneasiness to the child. If we big people get tense, it is likely the little ones will follow suit.
- When entering the Preschool, go in with a purpose. Hang up your child’s bag and either hand them off to their primary caregiver or get them engaged in an activity.
- Don’t rush your departure on the first day. Sit and play with your child and give them time to settle.
- Tell them you are leaving now and that you will be back to collect them later in the day. Try and relate the time you are going to collect them with a certain activity of their day, for example ‘mummy will be back after your nap to pick you up’, or ‘daddy will pick you up after your afternoon snack’ etc. Make sure you do as you say so you don’t break their trust
- When it is time to leave, say goodbye and then leave decisively. Don’t let them see you are upset!
Remember, you are welcome to have a cup of coffee in our staffroom to reassure yourself before leaving them. You are likely to be surprised at just how quickly they settle down after you are gone from sight! If you can’t stay around for a cup of coffee, phone as many times as you like. Even if you only get to reach the car park!