At Little Hands Daycare, we recognise that young children will experience many transitions in their early years; some of these planned and some unplanned. We are sensitive to the impact of such changes to children and are keen to share some of our strategies to positive transitions.
Some examples of transitions that young children and babies may experience are:
- Starting nursery
- Moving between different rooms within the nursery
- Starting school or moving nurseries
Staff are trained to observe their key children and to be sensitive to any changes in their behaviour and personality. We respectfully ask that parents inform us of any changes in the home environment that may impact on their child so staff can be aware of the reasons behind any potential changes in the child’s behaviour.
We recognise that starting nursery may be difficult for some children and their families. We have a settling in policy to support children and to inform families of the process. This process is individual to each child to ensure they can build adequate relationships with the team before their journey with us officially begins. From initial stay and play sessions with parents to detailed routine paperwork and ongoing communication between our team and your family; our transitions to start nursery are designed to help children and their families feel comfortable. To recognise that nursery is a safe space where staff will gradually become more familiar, stay consistent and support children to thrive!
Moving rooms procedure
When a child is ready to move to a different room in the nursery, we follow the process set out below and work with the parents to ensure this is a seamless process in which the child is fully supported at all stages. This may include a handover meeting between the existing key person, new key person and parents.
- The child will spend short sessions in their new room prior to the permanent move to enable them to feel comfortable in their new surroundings
- The child’s key person will go with the child on these initial visits to enable a familiar person to be present at all times
- Wherever possible groups of friends will be moved together to enable these friendships to be kept intact and support the children with the peers they know
- Parents will be kept informed of all visits and the outcomes of these sessions e.g. through photographs, discussions or diary entries
- Only when the child has settled in through these taster sessions will the permanent room move take place. If a child requires more support this will be discussed between the key person, parent, manager and room leader of the new room to agree how and when this will happen. This may include moving their key person with them on a temporary basis
Starting school or moving childcare providers
Starting school is an important transition and some children may feel anxious or distressed. We will do all we can to facilitate a smooth move and minimise any potential stresses. This following process relates to children going to school. However wherever possible, we will adapt this process to support children moving to another childcare provider e.g. childminder or another nursery.
- We provide a variety of resources that relate to the school, e.g. uniform to dress up in, a role play area set up as a school classroom, photographs of all the schools the children may attend. This will help the children to become familiar with this new concept and will aid the transition
- We invite school representatives into the nursery to introduce them to the children
- Where possible we use other ways to support the transition to school, e.g. inviting previous children from the nursery who have moved on to school to come back and talk to the children about their school experiences
- Where possible we plan visits to the school with the key person. Each key person will talk about the school with their key children who are due to move to school and discuss what they think may be different and what may be the same. They will talk through any concerns the child may have and initiate activities or group discussions relating to any issues to help children overcome these
- We produce a comprehensive report on every child starting school to enable teachers to have a good understanding of every child received. This will include their interests, strengths and level of understanding and development in key areas. This will support continuity of care and early learning
Other early years providers
Where children are attending other early years settings or are cared for by a childminder we will work with them to share relevant information about children’s development. Where a child is brought to nursery or collected from nursery by a childminder we will ensure that key information is being provided to the child’s parent by providing the information directly to the parent via email, telephone or via our app.