The first days at our service can be exciting and a little daunting but we want you to know that at First Grammar we are here to put your mind at ease, we want your child to feel nurtured and comfortable with the Educators and their environment. As this is such an important time in both you and your child’s lives we would like to provide you some further information about starting Early Education and how to create a smooth and reassuring transition.
Making the decision to attend a quality early education and care service is an important and exciting stage in your child’s development. Your child will have opportunities to interact with other children and educators, and benefit from a stimulating learning environment. All children respond differently, some children embrace this new experience with an enthusiasm that can leave you feeling confident and comfortable. Other children may feel afraid, upset or anxious. If this is the first time your child has been in the care of someone they are not familiar with or an environment that could be noisy and crowded which differs from being at home, it may be a bit too much for them. It is actually quite common for children to show some signs of discomfort when they first start in a new setting.
Separation anxiety is normal during early childhood. It usually starts at about six to eight months of age and lasts until about two and a half to four years of age. From about six months old, most children begin to show distress when they are away from their parents, as they don’t yet have a separate sense of self, so they can feel a part of them is missing. Separation anxiety reflects the child’s attempts to hold on to what is safe in their world, and it will settle down as the child grows older and more confident. While this can be worrying for parents, it is normal for children to find the transition to childcare upsetting and it is important to remember the distress is often short-lived. As the Educators build a relationship with your child you will see them learn to trust, develop and expand to include the service as an important part of their world.
The benefits of attending a quality education and care service includes; your child having access to a well-established Educational Program inclusive of a School Readiness Program, social development and having the confidence to build new friendships, being a part of a community, having a reliable Centre open 52 weeks of the year and your child having access to qualified educations who consistently develop and update their skills and knowledge.
Orientation and building trusting relationships
Our orientation process is designed to provide opportunities for your child to familiarise themselves with the service and the Educators, it is also an opportunity for you to discuss with Educators your child’s routines, preferences and unique habits. Your child will look to you for cues to see that you are comfortable at the service and are building relationships with Educators that will educate and care for them, this will go a long way in providing your child with less anxiety about their new environment and give them the best possible start at the service.
Behaviours your child may display
‘Infants may show distress by:
Toddlers may show distress by:
Preschoolers may show distress by:
What to expect from the centre when your child is settling in
The service will provide you with a consistent approach from the Educators and Centre Manager who know what you and your child are going through and are there to offer you support and suggestions. To assist with this transition the knowledgeable and understanding educators we will provide you with phone calls, photos and daily routine information. We know that by working together we can successfully make this transition into the centre a positive experience.
Tips and Tricks for a smooth transition:
- Begin talking to your child about the educators at the Centre, a photo may assist with this process.
- Collect your Enrolment Pack. Use this to excite your child which will create a sense of belonging to the centre.
- Begin the orientation process. We recommend between 1-2 weeks prior to your first day.
- Be prepared. Pack your child’s bag the night before to ensure a smooth morning on their first day.
- Try for a well-rested night’s night sleep and a healthy dinner.
- Allow additional time for the first day drop off, remember this may be an emotional morning for you.
- Hang in there – remember some children settle into their environment faster than others.
- Contact the centre as often as you like to see how their day is going.
- For further tips and trips, contact your Centre Manager or speak to the friendly educators.