Starting nursery can be daunting for children (and parents!). Your child will be likely to experience some form of separation anxiety when they start, but this is entirely normal and nurseries are prepared for this. Here are a few things that you can do that will help them settle into nursery quickly:
- If your child is old enough, have lots of positive conversations about how much fun they are going to have at nursery and how many new friends they’ll make. Tell them positive stories about your own experiences in similar places.
- Use the names of their teachers/keyworkers regularly so that they recognise their names, and show enthusiasm, positivity and excitement about going to the new nursery. Children feed off adult’s emotions – if you are anxious, they will be anxious too, if you are excited, they will be excited too!
- Become as familiar as possible with the teachers. Get to know their names and share information about your child’s home life with them. This will give them good insight and help them to better understand your child’s needs during the settling in process.
- Try not to worry too much about your child making friends or telling you about their day. It is hard for a two/three/four-year-old to explain events from the day, and just because they may not have a ‘best friend’ straight away does not mean they are not gaining important social skills and benefits from friends in their class. Their teachers and carers will be able to point you in the right direction if you want to get to know some other families.
*It is very normal for some children to find separating hard. Trust that the adults in the space know how to calm children and try to leave swiftly. Make the goodbyes short and sweet. If you linger, they can become more distressed. However, if you feel that your child isn’t settling well (after a week or two) book an appointment with the manager to discuss what strategies they use to distract and calm.