One of the biggest steps in your little one’s life is starting nursery and, let’s face it, it’s a pretty big step for you too! At any of our three nursery schools, we make sure that the first days at nursery are as reassuring and fun as possible. Below we have a set of general hints and tips about those first days.
We also have a lot more detail about starting any of our three nursery schools on these pages:
Preparing for nursery tips
There are a number of things that you can do to help make starting nursery a wonderful experience for your child and you.
- Most important of all is to look forward to it. It will be great and you’ll wonder how you ever managed without the nursery. Enjoy the experience, they’ll only ever start nursery once.
- If they are not used to being separated from you it’s a good idea to enlist the help of grandparents or friends. For a couple of months before starting nursery try to organise a few hours a week with someone else. Don’t try to rush the transition, just make it as natural and matter of fact as possible.
- We offer taster sessions in all of our nurseries so that you can both get an idea of what nursery will be like.
- Find an excuse to visit the pre-school for a short time, even if it’s just a trip to the car park. Get them used to the destination and it won’t seem so daunting. We’re sure that we can find some paperwork for you to pick up or a desperate need to test out a cup of coffee.
- Be aware of any signals that you’re sending out, your perceptive little other will pick up on your emotions and you’re probably feeling a bit tense about the whole thing. Nursery singalong tracks in the car can help distract you both.
- Have a word with us about potty training. No one is perfect when they start nursery and we’ll make sure that we put your mind at ease about when things might slip up, or out.
- It’s really impressive for their new friends if putting coats, jumpers, hats and gloves are skills mastered.
- Special storytime sitting is a skill that will help and is fun to learn. See if you can find a local library that runs storytime sessions or enlist the help of friends with their children to practice listening quietly and sitting still… ok, relatively still!
- Don’t worry about learning the alphabet, numbers or their names. We’ll take care of that.
Settling into nursery
So you’ve arrived, it’s that day at last and all that needs to be done now is to make sure that they are settled in and for you to beat a retreat. Here’s a few things that might help:
- On the first day, make sure that you have plenty of time and that you don’t have to rush off for an appointment, holiday or new life. You are going to have to walk out of the door but it doesn’t have to be immediately.
- This is normal, this is routine, this is fun, we like doing this! Repeat silently and smile. Your child has spent the last few years learning how to read your emotions, you may need to do a little bluffing or, at the very least, less crying.
- Don’t plan to sneak off while they are distracted. It might make things easier for you on the first day but you’ll pay for it later. Smiles, hugs and waves while they are settled and happy with their key worker.
- Your child will have a key worker who is more than used to the challenges of settling into nursery school. They’ve done this before and they are good at it.
- Make sure that your key worker knows about anything that is important in your child’s life at the moment. Little things can be important and fear of cotton wool would be good to know about in advance of the snow collage.
- If you’re expecting a minute by minute breakdown of the day when you come to pick them up you’ll probably be disappointed. You’ll more likely get a short comment about the banana that they liked or that Samantha sneezed milk (and Samantha was probably Louise).
- Playdates with new nursery friends can be great for new nursery relationships and you’ll probably make some friends for life yourself.
- Expect a bit more sleep than normal, starting nursery can be very exciting and very tiring.