Top 5 Tips for Settling Your Child into Nursery

Elmhurst School for Boys

1st February 2019 | Early Years

Starting nursery for the first time is a big change for both you and your child, and it’s natural to feel anxious about how you are both going to cope with the transition. Fortunately, we have come up with some top tips to help you settle your little one into nursery.

1. Talk about nursery positively

A few days before your child is due to start nursery, start chatting to them about how wonderful it will be for them to meet new friends and play with different toys. Young children easily pick up on their parents’ emotions, so if you are calm, enthusiastic and confident that all will be well, then your child should feel the same way too.

2. Plan some settling in visits

Most nurseries will offer the opportunity for you to visit with your child before they start, so they can get used to the new environment. The settling in visits give you both an opportunity to meet the nursery staff and allows your child to become familiar with their new surroundings and routines. At Elmhurst, new starters have many opportunities to visit Little Elms before they begin and home visits are also a fantastic way of settling the boys in, as they see their new teacher in their familiar surroundings.

3. Choose a comforter from home

If your child is struggling to settle, sometimes a comfort item from home can help. At Elmhurst, we encourage the boys to keep their comfort item in their school bags. Then they know where they are and can access them, but the comfort item won’t stop them exploring the activities in the room. Explain to your child that if they are missing you they should cuddle the item close and remember you’ll be back to pick them up soon.

4. Keep goodbyes brief

Children follow your lead so if you get upset and cling to your child when you drop them off, there will likely be tears when you have to leave. Try to have a bright smile on your face (even if you feel awful!) and make the parting loving but brief. Find a member of staff, give your child a quick hug and a kiss, and wave goodbye. You could always sneak a peek through the window a few minutes later to check they’re playing happily, or telephone the office later on for extra reassurance.

5. Allow time to settle

If your child cries every time you drop them off, it’s natural to feel guilty. Some children can take a little longer to settle into their new routine but given a few weeks, they should soon start enjoying all the different activities on offer. It will be hard, but stay strong and your perseverance will pay off. Remember that attending nursery offers lots of stimulation and social interaction, which is great for your child’s development.

Hopefully this article has provided some helpful tips to help both you and your child prepare for starting nursery. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on or 020 8688 0661.

We look forward to seeing you and your little one soon!

Best wishes

Tory Skinner (Little Elms Nursery Manager)

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