Sending your child off to nursery for the first time can be a scary experience, especially when they are your first child. Every child is different and there are all sorts of reactions you may get from them, so it’s important to be ready for anything they might throw at you. It’s helpful to remember that although nursery can seem like a scary step, it’s also something both you and your child should be excited about. Here at Barncliffe Day Nursery we want to give advice for new parents starting out their nursery journey, making the experience as easy as possible and helping reduce the butterflies in your stomach. Keep reading for all the information on just how to handle your child’s first day at nursery.
Preparing for the big day
The first step of your child’s first day at nursery is accepting the change yourself. We often find that a lot of parents have the same feelings when it comes to their child’s first day of nursery: trusting someone else to look after your child is a big deal. These feelings are completely natural, the hard bit is not letting that show to your little one. If they can sense something is wrong they’re going to feel the same, and this will only amplify your worry. Once you’ve got past this awkward stage, it’s all about your child’s journey.
Prior to your child’s first day at nursery, you will have visited and seen the place yourself. This is a very important step in preparing for the big day, it allows you the time to build trust and comfort with the nursery and to ensure the environment is safe. If you have any concerns before your child’s first day at Barncliffe, we’re more than happy to chat with you.
We offer a minimum of three settling in sessions, for both parent and child. It makes a big impact on how children feel about the change and can have a positive impact on their first day. It also allows us to begin building an understanding of their needs. We assign each child a Key Person – who the child can really start building a relationship with. In these sessions, we discuss the child’s needs and parent concerns. We also take the time to build the bond between child and parents with the nursery team and the surroundings. The last two settling-in sessions – involve parents dropping the child off and then leaving. This is great for both parent and child to get used to being separate and gives the child enough time to get used to the new environment. Parents then pick up their child early. This practice is common in a lot of nurseries. At Barncliffe, we make it our mission to gain the strongest insight into your child and their routine, including the little things they like, patterns in behaviour, things they respond to, and anything that makes the transition easier.
Tips From our Nursery Team
Our staff have put together some advice for parents on how to deal with your child’s first day at nursery. Their top tips are:
- Keep yourself busy
On your child’s first day, you can feel like your left arm is missing if spend the day watching the clock. You’ve spent practically every day with this little person and spent every minute (even the sleepless nights) falling more and more in love with them. So suddenly having free time may feel overwhelming at first. Keeping yourself busy with activities or any work you need to get done is the best way to spend this time, your little one will be back with you before you know it.
- Reassure yourself
Remember to reassure yourself throughout the day that your child is perfectly safe. Everyone at the nursery is trained to look after children and know exactly what they’re doing, so there’s no need to worry about their safety or experience. The nursery will keep you updated on everything you need to know, and as soon as you get your child back you’ll be hearing all about the amazing day they’ve had with us.
- Talk to your child
If your child is closer to our older range, they are most likely aware of what is going on. If this is so, then take the time to talk to your child about nursery, asking what they’ve been doing there and creating excitement around it, so they feel joyful about going. It is important to show that nursery is a good thing and talking about it more will also help with your reassurance.
How Children React on Their First Day
Children’s reactions on the first day at nursery vary, from clinging on to mum or dad for dear life to not feeling phased by the experience at all. We usually find that those who have spent more time around other children are more comfortable when first arriving at nursery, so if you have a big family, it’s worth using this to your advantage.
For those who don’t want to leave their parents side, we have distraction techniques in place until they become more comfortable with coming to nursery. To do this we find the things they like to play with and are most interested in, and make sure this is a key part of their learning. We also ask parents what their child is most interested in, so we’re prepared from the first day.
What it’s Like at Nursery
Nursery is of course about the start of your child’s educational journey, but it is also about having fun. Every day at Barncliffe is different, we are always coming up with new and exciting ways to make sure your child has the best nursery experience possible.
The environment we have created here is friendly and safe, where children feel happy to participate and grow. With support from our staff, children are free to be creative, explore, and investigate, all vital opportunities for your child to learn about the world around them.
Here at Barncliffe we are happy to help with any questions you might have prior to your little ones first day. If you have any enquiries, please feel free to contact us on 01484 604816. Alternatively, fill in our contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.