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Starting Nursery

Starting Nursery school is a big step in your child’s life and can be daunting for them and you as a parent too!  We work closely with you to ensure that everyone settles into the Nursery routine as quickly and smoothly as possible. 


Here are some tips that will help to get your child ready to take this step.


Bring your child for settling visits before they start:  For some children it will be the first time that they have been without you and the room will feel big and busy.  By bringing your child with you on a visit and letting them see other children playing and feeling at home will help to foster a sense of curiosity in your child and give them the confidence to play and explore, with the security of having you nearby if they need any reassurance.  Even the most shy and clingy child will want to go off and investigate at some point on their own.


Talk to our staff:  While your child is busy exploring during their visit, speak to our staff.  Tell us about your child in as much detail as you can.  What do they like?  What don’t they like?  Does anything scare them?  Are they toilet trained or not?  Do they have a particular way of being comforted?  Do you use any ‘family words’ for objects that we need to know about?  The more that we know about your child, the more effective we can be in helping your child to settle when you are not there.  Every child is assigned a key person when they join our Nursery.  This is a member of staff who will be responsible for overseeing your child’s development.  When your child starts at Nursery they will ensure that your child is happy and settled, providing cuddles and encouragement and a ‘safe base’ for your child to come back to for reassurance in their new adventure.  They will usually be your first port of call to share any information on a day to day basis, but you can of course speak to any member of staff at anytime should you need to!


Be positive about coming to nursery:  Talk about Nursery in an exciting way.  Make it sound full of fun, energy, excitement and new experiences (which it will be!)  Smile a lot when you talk about coming to Nursery.  Point the building out to your child if you are walking or driving past.  We will give you a book about starting Nursery, with photographs of staff and our learning areas.  Share this with your child as part of a bedtime story routine, so you can talk about all of the exciting things they will be doing the following day.  We know the first day may be hard for you too and it might be difficult to remain positive when you have to leave your child on the first day.  We will have tissues for you as well as them!   It is important to remember that your child will mirror your feelings, so if you are upset they will be upset, if you keep coming back to check on them they will be looking for you to come back.  Smile and be positive, even if you’re not feeling it - we are happy for you to call us during the session to check how your child is, if this will help to settle your fears too.


Dress them in clothes they can manage and are not their best:  At Oakridge Nursery we encourage children to be as independent as they can be.  Too many zips and buttons or laces on shoes and tights can be a problem for children, especially if they are newly toilet trained.  Please dress them in clothes that your child can manage themselves.   Please do not dress your child in anything that you don’t mind them getting dirty, lots of our activities can get messy and although children wear aprons and outdoor clothing this doesn’t always stop the mess reaching the clothes completely.