Why Settling Your Child Matters
An insight into settling and how we practice this at Eduplay Childcare Westgate, to ensure children transition from home to preschool as seamlessly as possible.
Starting at a new childcare centre can be a stressful time for parents and children. An unfamiliar environment and new faces can take time for children to adjust to. This is especially true for children who have never been cared for by people outside their immediate family and home. This is why at Eduplay Childcare Westgate we encourage a settling programme for all new children, no matter how old they are.
What is settling? Settling is an opportunity for children to experience the new environment with their parent or other whanau member at their side. We encourage at least three visits that give your child an opportunity to get to know our space and teachers in a comfortable and nurturing way. In the first visit or two, you accompany your child, staying close by and participating in play and learning.
Having you with them will make them feel more confident and inclined to explore. These first visits should last at least one hour, but no more than two. It’s great if your child doesn’t want to leave! That way you can tell them that you will be coming back, and they will look forward to it.
After these first visits, we ask you to say goodbye to your child and leave them with us for at least one hour. We like to do these visits a few times before their first official start date. We will book times so that your child can experience free play, mat time, meal time and also rest time.
As children settle and become familiar with the centre they will form relationships with other children and teachers. They will recognise the spaces and faces.
Settling also gives parents and whanau an opportunity to see how our centre works. You will understand how the various times of the day flow and get to know your child’s teachers. This is important as you need to feel comfortable asking questions and feeling confident about your child’s new carers.
If settling is done well, your child will feel safe and confident in their new environment. Remember that all children are different, some might need more settling visits, some might need less.
The goal of settling is for your child to look forward to coming to preschool each day, as they know it is a safe and fun place to be.
Head over to our Contact page to get in touch if you'd like to know more.