We would like to welcome you and your child to Bright Start Nursery, We hope that you get to know us and have a happy and successful time with the nursery.
We look forward to getting to know you.
Please note that throughout this policy we refer to you as being the person who holds parental responsibility for the child starting nursery.
Children settle into Nursery in lots of different ways. Some children will confidently move into the Nursery Room as soon as they come in. Other children may be nervous and anxious about leaving their beloved parent. Most children will be somewhere in between.
Please be reassured and try not to worry if your child experiences difficulties – it is a very normal part of a child’s development to be anxious, nervous or angry about starting nursery. We also recognise that many parents will find this a difficult and sometimes upsetting process. We hope that we can use our experience to support you and your child in whatever way suits you.
The settling in period is this time when you are here with your child in the Nursery/Centre. It is a time for your child to get to know his or her key person - with the reassurance of having you here too. As the relationship develops, your child will be able to trust that:
the key person and the other staff in the nursery are able to meet her or his needs
they can be helpful, comforting and deal positively with any problems
they can provide interesting experiences which make it worthwhile to come to Nursery.
The settling in process gives you a chance to find out:
what type of nursery this is
how the staff work
what kinds of experiences we offer to the children.
You will be able to see how we:
play with children
talk with them
have fun together
set boundaries for children
deal with difficult behaviour.
You are always welcome to ask about how we work and how we deal with particular situations.
In our experience the settling in period takes about a week (although it will vary greatly from one child to another). Our aim is to settle children in at their own pace – when children are ready to move away from their parents, we will encourage and support this. We have found that in the long run, this means more settled and happier children – and parents! The process often goes like this:
Your child spending time in the Nursery room with you. During this time, you are available to support your child, to ease the transition for your child from home to Nursery, and to help staff get to know your child. Staff will help your child to get to know where things are in the rooms, how to get a snack etc. At this stage it might be best to be available to your child but not too interesting! In other words, it might be best to avoid getting deeply involved in your child’s play at this time. This allows members of staff to make a judgement about engaging your child in experiences. However, you are the parent and we will support you in judging how to handle this for the best. We are aware that both you and your child may be feeling stress at some points, and your child may not appear to be on “best behaviour”. Please don’t worry about this – it is all part of the process. As adults, if we try to relax as much as possible and remain confident, this will help the children.
Your child spending time in the Nursery room whilst you are in another part of the Centre. It will be up to you and the key person to discuss when your child is ready for this step. This means that your child has the opportunity to explore the nursery room and have her or his needs met by the key person and the rest of the staff. This might be for quite a short period of time at first, and then for longer stretches of time. If you have younger children with you, then we have spaces for them to play, too. It is very important that you say clearly to your child that you will be leaving the nursery room. It’s tempting to nip out when your child is busy, but if your child turns round a few minutes later to find you have unexpectedly gone, she or he may be really distraught. It is essential that you do not leave the Centre without talking with your key person first.
Finally, it is for you to judge – with the support of the key person – when your child is ready to be left in the Nursery with the staff. Your child might be very sad at the moment of parting, but if the settling in process has gone well she or he will be able to manage this with the support of the key person and other members of staff. If your child continues to be upset after you have gone, please be reassured that we would contact you and would not put your child through an ordeal. It is still important for you to say goodbye to your child clearly, so that your child knows what is going on and can express how he or she feels about it. Some parents find it easiest to set a limit on how long they will stay at dropping-off time, for example “I’ll read two books with you and then it will be time for me to go.” It is up to you how you manage this, but please do ask for support or advice if it will be helpful. It is not uncommon for a child to settle very well into the nursery, and then unexpectedly a few weeks later to find it difficult to come in. This might be for any one of a variety of reasons, and again we will offer our support or help if you would like it.
At any stage of the process – if you would like to talk to someone, or need ideas, or support, or help … then please talk to your key person or the Head or Deputy of the Nursery Centre. It is best to arrange to do this in a private space – not in front of your child.
As a staff, we are committed to working closely and supportively with parents and carers. We look forward to developing a relationship with you.
Please let us know if you find this leaflet helpful - or if you would like to suggest changes to it. Most of our best learning comes through getting feedback from parents and carers.
In addition to the process of settling your child there is also a practical part of settling in which needs to be completed – filling in forms. Please note to do this the parent /carer who holds parental responsibility for the child will need to stay with the child and complete all paperwork on the child’s first day at nursery. Also bring with you sufficient information to give us answers to the following questions:
a. Deposit needs to be paid and receipt given
b. First months fees need to be paid and receipt given.
c. Direct debit needs to be set up for future payments.
2. Emergency Contacts
a. Emergency contacts are used rarely. They can be used if your child is ill and you are needed to come and collect them or if they have an accident that you need to be made aware of. This will be prioritised as parents/carers first followed by the two emergency contacts that you provide. We must have two additional contacts – these can be family members or friends. The ideal is that they live close to your home and/or the Centre. We need their full address and phone number details.
a. In case we need to verify any information with them.
4. Health Visitor
5. Birth Certificate
6. Full profile of your child
a. We need to learn about your child, what they like, dislike, what their routines are, whether they sleep in the day or not.
b. Medical profile in terms of allergies, regular medication, illness or medical problems that might arise when they are in the Nursery.
This information then enables us to:
1. Know more about your child
2. Update our database
3. Ensure that we have emergency contact details to hand in case they are needed urgently.
4. Advise all staff of any medical conditions or allergies
5. Advise the kitchen of any allergies
6. Process payment
7. Ensure that the correct deposit will be returned to you when your child leaves.
Date last reviewed: April 2017
Next review: April 2019