Have a nosey around
It can be scary for your little one to suddenly find herself in a brand new place full of strange faces. That’s why visiting your nursery a couple of times before her first day is so important. “Visits – or the settling-in period – are a crucial part of starting at nursery,” explains Purnima Tanuku, chief executive of the National Day Nurseries Association.
“It helps your tot get to know the nursery, staff and children, and they also get to know her, ” says Purnima. Contact the nursery a few weeks before your child is due to start to arrange a time to go in together and have a tour of the place.
Walk on by
If your nursery is in your local area, find out when it has breaktime, then when you and your little one are next off to the park, re-route yourself past its playground. It’s a great way to show your toddler how much fun she’ll be having when she starts.
When you go in for visits, your nursery will collect basic information about your child. “Staff will actively encourage you to share her likes and dislikes with the keyworker she’ll be assigned to who’ll monitor her progress,” explains Purnima. “This person will help record her development, so make time to talk to them.
She adds, “Let them know if there are any issues at home that might affect your child’s behaviour (one that comes up quite often is the arrival of a new baby) and the keyworker, in turn, can keep you updated about how she’s progressing.”
Nursery is a fun place for your child, but preparing her will really help that first day run smoother.
Try it on
Get your tot used to her belongings so she’s reassured about what’s hers and what she’s allowed to use. Get her to choose a bag for nursery so she has some control over what’s happening and will remember what it looks like. In the week before nursery starts, have a dry run with clothes, bags and pens so when she gets them out on the big day, she knows what’s what and isn’t fazed.
If your tot is well prepared for nursery she’ll be happy as larry on her first day
Talk her through
Starting nursery is a big step and preparation at home is vital for you both. “Talk about what happens at nursery and what sort of activities she’ll be doing, making it all sound exciting, adventurous and most importantly, very natural,” advises Katy Hayden, a childcare expert at Tinies.
“Any new situation can be scary for a young child, so explaining what each activity might entail, such as story time, snack time and quiet time, will help her remember what she’s expected to do
once she’s at nursery,” says Katy.