The first day of nursery can be both exciting and scary, here are some top tips to help make the transition easier…
Starting nursery is a major milestone as it marks the beginning of a child’s educational development and independence. However, ask most parents about their first day experience and many talk about the tearful goodbyes at the nursery entrance and constant worries throughout the day. Will they be ok? Will they get on with the other children? Will they get the individual attention they need? All of these are natural concerns for parents to have that first day of nursery, and can result in a lot of frantic phone calls from worried parents.
For many nursery staff, one of the first hurdles is to reassure parents that their child will be ok when they leave. In many cases, the start of nursery is essentially the first day a child has been left with someone other than family. So it’s understandable that it can be quite a traumatic experience for both children and parents alike as they say their final goodbyes before being left in the trusted hands of essentially a stranger.
With the number of nursery and pre-school places increasing by 9,000 last year alone, it is more important than ever to look at ways in which we can do this better to ensure children settle into nursery the right way.
Tips to help children better settle into nursery
1. Start with a smile
Something as simple as having staff ready at the door to welcome parents with a smile and greeting each parent and child individually can make a huge difference. It helps for parents to feel their children are going to be left in a warm and friendly environment, plus being on hand right from day one can help build a better line of communication and ongoing relationship with parents.
2. Get them excited!
Everyone gets excited when there’s something fun to look forward to. Promoting the nurseries’ exciting toys and activity programmes ahead of time, so that parents can help to get kids excited about all the fun things they have to look forward to on their first day at nursery. Plus, letting parents know what their children will be up to really helps to reassure parents about their educational development.
3. Plan for variety, Plan for success
When children first start at nursery, routines outside of the home is not something they’re able to understand yet, and it’s important to keep activities varied and exciting. Shorter activity sessions ensure better productivity and participation from children.
4. That individual touch
Each child is unique, with their own personalities and abilities which is why it is crucial to give them the individual attention they deserve. Children learn and develop at their own pace so it is important to give them that one to one time to ensure you are helping them reach success and be able to personally praise them for it.
5. Keep parents’ updated throughout the day
In this digital age, there are so many ways to keep parents updated with their children’s progress. Whether that’s via a private Facebook group for the setting, or an app like Capture which helps track children’s individual milestone progress, you can easily communicate what their children have been up to with parents, to help keep them at ease on that crucial first day.
Ultimately, it all boils down to one key thing…
Communication. When it comes to preventing tears at the door, the best thing any nursery can do is provide more effective communication with parents in a light touch way, to help keep parents at ease. Relaxed parents helps ensure children are just as calm. Children are incredibly receptive, and often mirror their parents’ anxiety in their own behaviour. With one of the main pain points being communicating children’s individual progress between nursery staff and parents, Capture Educations digital learning journal is a great way to ensure this is one fluid process.
Children’s individual milestones are clearly outlined, with easy photo, video and comment tracking abilities for nursery staff to update as an when this happens. Milestone checklists record each child’s individual milestones whilst also sending live updates to parents throughout the day of their progress.
Not only does this help promote children’s development, but also builds trust and better communication between parents and nursery staff.
Book a 20 minute telephone demo with one of our UK based consultants to see how Capture can help your nursery setting.