Helping children adjust to an East Kilbride nursery or day-care is often a daunting task and is usually met with some form of adjustment period lasting several days or weeks.
Help ease your child into his or her new school experience gradually by going once every week for 1-2 hours and bringing items from home, such as their blanket or toy.
Schedule a Meet-and-Greet
At the meet and greet, discuss your home routine with your child’s teachers and carers, such as how you like them fed or tucked into for naptime. This gives them an opportunity to answer any queries your child might have regarding the day-care environments and experiences that await them.
Be honest when discussing your child’s entrance into an East Kilbride nursery. Overly optimistic statements such as “it will be the greatest experience ever!” could cause unnecessary anxiety to arise for both parties involved. Instead, provide your children with details on their daily schedule and expectations in advance.
Schedule a Tour
Provide tours during operating hours so families can visit when it is most convenient for them, rather than forcing them to come when a staffer can only find time. You could make booking tours via your website easier so parents can visit when it suits them best.
On a home day-care tour, emphasise key features like safety measures and carer-to-child ratios while informing parents of specific guidelines relevant to their child’s age group.
Be mindful that questions will arise during a tour, regardless of how thorough your tour might be. Be prepared to respond in an honest and friendly manner, aligning answers with parents’ priorities, in order to build their trust in your nursery or daycare.
Meet the Teachers
Before your child enters preschool, it can be beneficial to meet with teachers and carers personally in order to ask any necessary questions and become acquainted with their teaching style and personality. This also gives you an opportunity to establish rapport between your family and the staff members involved.
Parents speaking to teachers should also have the chance to gain more information on the classroom environment and curriculum, including whether the school complies with statutory guidance on staff-to-student ratios.
Be sure to label everything you send with your child, such as lunch boxes, clothing, and toys. Ask the day-care to set up a family board (a bulletin board with photos of students and their families) if one does not already exist.
Meet the Staff
Experienced parents should familiarise their children with the schedule at their centre or childcare provider before enrolling them to make the transition much smoother. Be sure to consider any supplies necessary (diapers, wipes, extra clothes, outdoor gear such as raincoats and shoes for outdoor play and snacks for their day there) so they are all set out the night before their visit.
Watching carers at work is an invaluable way of gauging their skills and whether or not they will fit well with your family. Ask if they would allow you to observe them in class or with children; also inquire how often updates on progress reports are sent out and what their learning journal looks like (if it exists as a physical document).
At an age when preschool and day-care are becoming more similar, it’s becoming more and more likely for children to attend both. Knowing this information will make the transition simpler for all involved.
Before choosing a day-care or preschool for your child, be sure to ask about its teacher-to-child ratio, classroom sizes, and the training and education of each provider. Inquire as well about its discipline practices; comforting approaches may make your child feel welcome, while strict methods may cause anxiety.
An effective day-care should also offer clear medical policies, detailing how staff treat minor injuries or illnesses. This information will allow you to make an informed decision as to whether the daycare will meet the needs of your family.
Keep in mind that your toddler can pick up on your emotions about sending them off to daycare, making the transition harder for them. If they detect anxiety in you and sense any uncertainty around this move, their adjustment process could become harder as well.
Check with childcare providers about a typical schedule at their centre, then adjust your child’s system to that schedule to help reduce his or her anxiety about being away for long periods. This may help lessen separation anxiety.
Start off right by compiling a checklist with everything your child will need for their first day and week at nursery or day-care to ease morning chaos for both of you. Also practice saying goodbye and reuniting before starting school, nursery, or day-care!