Do you have a toddler or preschooler starting nursery soon? We have some tips to share with you before they start their new setting to make that transition as smooth as possible for you all:
Engage in role play with your little one. Little ones have big imaginations and this can help to easy anxiety and can help prepare them for what is coming up
Find photos of your child's setting- ideally the indoor and outdoor spaces so they can see where they will be spending some their time
If you know who your child's key worker is going to be then perhaps you can find a photo of them to help familiarise their face. We encourage you to bring their name up in conversation in the lead up to your child starting their setting, to help them become familiar
Support your little one with feeling independent: encourage them to put their own shoes and socks on, support them with getting dressed independently, encourage them (when possible and appropriate) to independently use the toilet. All of these little steps will help them to feel independent
Find books and children's tv programmes about starting nursery. If you choose to watch a programme about starting nursery, watch this with your little one and talk them through it whilst the programme is playing. If you choose to read a book, get comfy and make this something you do together. Relate the book or programme back to your little one and how this links with where they are going etc. For example: "your nursery has a garden like this one"
On your little ones first day at Nursery: (we know this can be such a daunting day!)
Be prepared the night before with as much as you can as possible: sort out their clothes ready for the morning, prepare their lunchbox, and even put their shoes by the door if this helps!
Try and make the morning routine as consistent as possible to what your little one is used to
Get support for you on that day. Whether that's someone to call whilst you're on your way to work, or someone to meet after drop off if you don't have anywhere to rush to
We have one ask for you: please do say goodbye to your little one when you leave them. We know that it feel like its going to make things worse and make them more upset, but if you don't say goodbye and you just slip away, they will be left wondering where you have gone and if you will be coming back. This can cause them a lot of unnecessary stress. If you are able to explain to them that you will be returning (ideally this will be done the couple of days leading up to their first day) and remind them of this at drop off, they will likely be upset when you walk away, but you have set the expectation you will be returning.
When you do return, make a point of acknowledging this "look I came back, remember I told you I would!"
If you have further questions about your little one starting a setting, please don't hesitate to get in touch. We are passionate to ensure that you feel heard, supported and empowered.
We work together alongside you and offer advice and support which works for you and your little one.
1:1 consultations with one of our highly qualified team are available virtually or face-to-face