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Transitions - settling into nursery

Starting nursery is a big event in both the life of the child and of the parents. Those of us in nurseries recognise how important our role is in making this transition as stress-free as possible for everyone involved.

Posted on Tuesday 19th June 2018

Many mothers these days have enjoyed a period of maternity leave of between 9 months and a year. In the first year of their life, babies form strong attachments, particularly with their primary caregivers. At about 7 months, babies develop a special preference for a single attachment figure and they focus on this key figure for comfort and security. At about the same time, they start to become wary of strangers and are unhappy when separated from their primary caregiver, known as separation anxiety. And this often coincides with Mum’s return to work!

We know how hard it is to leave your child and so we give all our new parents a little gift to make them smile! We also encourage them to phone as often as they like to check that their special baby is OK.

There is nothing more satisfying, when collecting your child from nursery after their first day than to be given a collection of photos showing what fun they had whilst at nursery.

All children have a key person, a practitioner with whom they develop a close and special bond. As well as helping the child feel safe and secure, the key person is also the main point of contact for the family.

In our nurseries, babies move from the baby room into the Toddler group when they are around 2 years old. We believe that children need help in making these transitions, to prepare them for the biggest transition in their early lives – starting school!

Babies are given a photo book of the staff in the new room, to help them to get to know their new carers. Babies will undertake visits to the Toddler room and experience many new and exciting activities. Every morning our Toddlers sing the “Good Morning” song; new babies are welcomed into the group and made to feel special by adding their own photo onto the “Welcome Board.”

With thanks to Christine Doubtfire from Cedar House for writing this post. Christine is a director of Smarties and Cedar House Day Nursery in Mansfield. A qualified teacher with extensive experience in education.

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