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’. They 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, you will need to arrange with the waiting list coordinator a start date for your child to join the setting. The week prior to your start date, you will need to do a settling in period. This usually takes a week.
During your child’s settling-in week, please arrive at 10.30 on the first day
On the first day: You will spend an hour with your child in their playroom getting to know your child’s key carer. You will also meet other staff and children in the room. These children will be in your child’s peer group throughout their time at nursery.
On day 2: You will come for an hour, staying with your child’s until they are settled and then leave the room. You are welcome to stay in the building or close by in case we need to contact you. Please return at the end of your allocated hour.
On day 3: You will stay with your child until they are settled, and then if you wish, you can leave the premises, as long as you are contactable. You will need to pick your child up after lunch.
On day 4: Your child will stay for lunch and a sleep (if they do have an afternoon sleep). We will ask you to pick them up at 2pm.
The last day: Your child will stay with us from 10am until 4pm.
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!