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Settling your child happily and confidently in a pre-school setting is a very important step. As you will have a closer knowledge of your child’s stage of development than anyone else we aim to work with you to overcome the natural anxiety that you and your child will feel when your child attends the pre-school for the first time.
Children need confidence in order to cope with the challenges they will meet in their world They will meet new people, new ways of playing and new activities and if these are coped with successfully, they will develop more confidence for the next time. We encourage the children to have increased self esteem and to feel valued members of the group.
Prior to starting at the pre-school, the child should, if possible, visit with their parent to give them the opportunity to watch the other children at play and join in if they wish. If possible you will be introduced to your child’s future key person at this stage. This is an opportunity for you to get to know the group and discuss any concerns you may have. You will be asked to complete an initial profile on your child giving a little background information about their family and the activities they like playing with. Any medical problems your child may have or additional help that may be needed can be discussed at this time.
On your child’s first day (or for as long as necessary) you are welcome to stay with your child until you feel ready to leave. This will give your child’s key person the opportunity to build up their rapport with your child while you are still present. It is always important that you should say good-bye to your child when you leave and equally important to be a little early and never late when collecting your child. Some children like to bring a comforter from home to help with this separation.
Whilst we take children from approximately two and half years old, we realise that children develop at different rates and have different home experiences and it is not always possible to predict when a child will be ready to leave their carer and experience a pre-school environment. Occasionally a child may just not be ready for starting at pre-school. Age is only a rough guide for their readiness. It may be necessary for you to stay with your child in the group for a longer period or to delay the start date for a few weeks until your child is a little older and more confident. A recent disruption in family life – a new baby, hospital admission, house moving or bereavement – may mean that your child needs time to rebuild a sense of security before tackling the new experience of pre-school.