10 Expert Tips to Help you and your Child Make the Transition to Nursery
At LEYF Nurseries we know starting nursery can feel like a big step. But by following these 10 top tips you can make it much easier to make the transition - both for you and your child!
1. Introduce your child to the idea of nursery
While starting nursery may always seem a little bit scary, you can familiarise your child with the idea. Consider reading them books about nursery, and talking to them about all the fun they’ll have! When the time comes, they will have more of an idea of what to expect. Try My First Day at Nursery School by Becky Edwards.
2. Visit the nursery and meet the staff
It’s important that nursery staff know as much as possible about your child’s needs, likes and dislikes - after all, every family is different. Help your child to get acquainted, and you will both feel reassured and confident when the first day arrives.
At LEYF Nurseries we pride ourselves on our warm, caring and experienced staff, who work as a team with parents and children. We are committed to understanding your needs and supporting you at every step.
3. Encourage your child to make friends
Making friends and playing together is a big part of nursery life. If you can, let your child spend some time with other children, so they get used to cooperating and sharing. At nursery they’ll make friendships with children from all walks of life.
4. Be enthusiastic!
Your child looks to you for encouragement and direction. We understand starting nursery can be challenging and nerve-wracking, but try to talk to your child positively, smile lots and let them know they’re going to have a wonderful time - and they will!
5. Practice makes perfect!
Find out what activities happen in your chosen nursery, and talk to your child about them - you could even practice if you haven’t tried it before!
At LEYF Nurseries we take regular trips out into the community, to the local park, the library and the shops. We love messy play, singing songs, painting and even building dens - you could practice these things at home so when your child arrives at nursery, it feels like home already.
6. Choose a comfort item
When the big day arrives, it might feel scary for your little one. You can ease their nerves by bringing along your child’s favourite comfort item, whether it’s a blanket, a teddy bear, a book or a little note from you.
In our nurseries we run lots of projects to support children during their settling in period. For example, the baby room staff in our New Cross nursery ask parents to send in their family photos - it puts a big smile on the children’s faces!
7. Try new foods
At our nurseries we are always careful to learn your child’s likes and dislikes, but we also love trying new, tasty and healthy foods (the majority of our nurseries have an in-house chef). To prepare for your child’s first day, consider trying some new foods. That way, it won’t be surprising or scary when they are offered something new at nursery.
8. Decide on a goodbye ritual
When the big day comes, a good way to ease anxiety is to think of a goodbye ritual like a handshake, high-five, hug or special phrase. This will help to develop an easy, fuss-free drop-off routine with no tears (from you or your child!) Once it’s over, it’s helpful to head out of the door quickly so your child doesn’t become preoccupied with your presence.
9. Don’t be tempted to sneak off!
Slipping away while your child is distracted might seem like a good idea in order to avoid tears and tantrums, but suddenly realising you are no longer there will usually just cause more distress.
At our nurseries we have a settling period, during which you gradually reduce the number of hours you spend at the nursery with your child. Use your goodbye ritual to make those drop-offs easier and easier.
10. Finally, resist surprise visits!
It can be really tempting to regularly check up on your child. Of course, our nursery staff will be happy to accommodate you and take your phone calls, but it’s best for you and your child if you form a trusting bond with the nursery.
At LEYF Nurseries our experienced staff are there to guide you through the settling in period. Your child’s key person will give you regular updates on his or her development, so you can trust they will be safe, healthy, active and happy each and every day.
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