We offer a free settling in week which is flexible and gradual. One member of staff will be specially chosen to nurture your child from the day he or she arrives and to support you. This designated member of staff will be your child’s ‘key carer’. Your child’s key carer will work very closely with you and will be available to talk to you on a daily basis.
When you get offered a place at the nursery, we will arrange with you a suitable date for your child to join the setting. The week prior to your official start date, you will need to do a settling-in period. This usually takes a week, but we give your child as much time as they need, plus lots of cuddles to help ease them into nursery life and their new routine.
During your child’s settling-in week, please arrive at 10.15 on the first day.
On the first day: Today you will spend an hour with your child in their room. You will be introduced to their key carer, others carers in the room and their new friends. These children will be in your child’s peer group throughout their time at nursery.
On the second day: Today your child will stay for an for hour. After you have dropped your child off, please pop out for a coffee but stay near by in case we need to contact you. Please return at the end of your allocated hour.
On the third day: Today your child will stay for two hours and we will give them lunch. There are some really lovely cafes nearby, which we can recommend, but please make sure you are contactable. Please pick your child up after lunch.
On the fourth day: Today your child will stay for lunch and if they sleep, we will try and put them down for an afternoon nap. We do encourage parents to bring a soft toy, comforter or sleeping bag, which you use at home, so they have something familiar to sleep with. Please pick up your child up at 2.15pm on this day
On the last day: Today your child will be staying with us for a short day for a day of fun, ready for their first official day with us tomorrow. Please pick up at approximately 4.15pm on this day.
When you have been offered a place, all this information, and more, will be emailed to you along with settling-in dates and forms for your to complete and return on the first day of settling.
What does ‘key carer’ mean?
For the baby or young child:
The key carer makes sure that, within the day to day demands of a nursery each child feels special and individual, cherished and thought about by someone in particular, while they are away from home. The child will experience a close relationship which is affectionate and reliable in the nursery as well as at home.
The key carer approach ensures your child has the opportunity to build a personal relationship with ‘someone’ rather than ‘all of them’ in the nursery. The benefits are likely to be peace of mind, and the possibility of building a partnership with professional staff who may share with you the pleasures and stresses of child rearing. It is liaising with someone else who loves your baby or child too.
Are you a specialist?
Every parent is a specialist, in relation to his or her own child. And every worker in early childhood education and care is also a specialist, in child development. The best possible start that babies and young children can have is when these two specialists come together to share their knowledge and experience and understanding with each other.
Being important people:
Before birth, babies are literally attached to their mothers. After birth this very important attachment mostly continues although they are physically separate. Soon other people become important too – dads, and perhaps siblings and grandparents. These first relationships continue to be especially important when children start to move between home and the wider world whether at three months or three years, or any time in between. But spending time in a setting means that babies and young children will have new important people as well. This is very good for them, as long as they can start with a ‘special’ person who knows all about them and is usually around. They need their ‘specialists’ to be in regular communication!