The first day
The first day in any new situation can be an emotional one for everyone concerned. However, there are some things you can do to help make the first day at nursery positive and fun for your child. Make sure you have visited at least once before your child starts and spend time exploring the new environment together.
Here are a few tips to help the settling-in process go as smoothly as possible:
Talk with your child about what's coming: new friends, fun activities and a kind key person.
Start early so that the day doesn’t feel rushed. Even if you are feeling worried or concerned don’t let your child pick up on your feelings as they might begin to worry too.
After entering the security doors, take your child to the classroom where your key person or their buddy will meet you.
Early morning is a busy time with lots of children arriving at the same time and there is a chance that the staff members you met on trial sessions may not yet be in the classroom, but there will always be a familiar face to greet you. For the benefit of the pre-school children in particular we recommend that those attending either full-day sessions or morning sessions arrive by 9.30am. This is the time that the main activities of the day begin and it can be difficult for the staff to adequately greet the child if they are already involved in an activity or teaching.
Parents are welcome anytime, especially on the first morning. You can stay as long as necessary for your child to be comfortable. A goodbye kiss and a positive smile are important for children. It’s also important to tell them when you will be back to pick them up.
We understand that the first few days can be a time of high anxiety for parents too. Feel free to call the nursery throughout the day and you will be transferred to your child's key person (or buddy) who will be able to tell you exactly how your child is doing. Parents are always welcome to drop in or call us at any time.
New situations affect every child differently. Sometimes a child does wonderfully on the first day because everything is new and exciting, but get anxious on the second day when he or she recognises that this is going to be a new routine.
Most children need two or three weeks to adjust fully to the new environment. The best support you, as a parent, can give is to be enthusiastic and encouraging – and be patient.
If it becomes clear that your child is finding it difficult to settle within a reasonable period of time, a plan will be developed between your child’s key person, yourself and a member of the management team to try to overcome the problem.
Remember, IPK's goal is to work with you to provide your child with a safe, nurturing environment in which to learn and develop.
We're glad you've given us the opportunity to introduce ourselves to you and we look forward to meeting you in the very near future.