Settling your child into Pre-School

Settling a child into Pre-School can be a time of anxiety for both parents and children. While some children effortlessly feel secure in their new environment, other children may take longer. For those that do please let me give you a little bit of insight into why and more importantly some ways we can help your child settle.

Your children are very attached to their main carers, there’s a lot of research into how children make secure attachments, strong relationships are key to children feeling safe and secure. Children can take a while to build a trusting relationship with us which is why we have a member of staff as your child’s key person, so that your child can build a new attachment to another trusted adult. If your child is finding it hard to settle it’s good to chat with their key person to come up with successful strategies. There maybe particular activities and toys your child prefers so we can put these out when your child attends for example.

Children crying when you leave can be quite normal at first. Most of the time children recover very quickly and the staff at Sparkles are very experienced at helping children settle. Occasionally we may ask you to stay in the lobby area in case your child continues to cry. Personally I don’t like to leave children crying for too long. It can cause stress and actually make the settling process longer. For the first couple of weeks please keep your mobile phones charged, and don’t wonder too far from Sparkles until you know your child is settled.

While time usually flies for us adults, for children in an unfamiliar environment 2.5 hour can seem a very long time! Children can’t gauge how much time one of our sessions is until they get used to our routine. It may be beneficial to shorten sessions (sometimes drastically at first) until your child knows you will most definitely pick them up! Staff will advise you if they need you to pick up your child early. Sometimes doing just 20 minutes to start can help the child build their confidence. Sometimes the slower you take it the quicker they feel settled. The length of staying time can increase quite rapidly and can be far less stressful for your child (and you!)

Another trick we have up our sleeve is for the parent or carer to leave something behind, a scarf or cardigan for example so the child can visibly see you will be back to pick them up (and the item of clothing. This gives them a comfort item to look at as well as the visible cue already mentioned.

Our staff want your children to feel safe happy and secure. They have a wealth of experience settling children successfully. However we really need you to tell us as much as you can about your child so we can work in partnership so we can meet your child’s individual needs.