Starting your kindergarten journey
Helping children settle in
Young children react in different ways to starting kindergarten. Even the most confident child may take a while to become accustomed to the new environment. These notes are a guide to provide some ideas that may help the settling in process go smoothly.
On the first day:
Be prepared to stay and help you child settle in. Some children take several days before they are comfortable enough to stay on their own. You are welcome to stay and to visit after your child has settled in. This can be a good time for us to get to know each other and for you to get to know what goes on in your child’s day.
When it is time to Leave your Child:
It is best to make the decision about leaving in consultation with us. This decision is too big for young children to make, and so although there is some room for negotitaiton, it is important that you, as the adult, make the final decision.
Tell us when you are leaving so we can be there to support and comfort your child if this is needed. Let us know when you will be back.
Always say goodbye to your child. Although sneaking away may seem the easiest option at the time, leaving without saying goodbye can be distressing and create problems in the future. By saying goodbye, you will be helping to build a trusting relationship which helps children to feel secure. Your child may cry when you say goodbye, but they will learn to trust that you will come back and to trust us to look after them.
The first time you leave, go for a short time. You may need to start by going for 10 minutes and to gradually stay away for longer. We recommend that you arrive and stay for about 10 minutes, do an activity with your child, then go. Always tell your child the plan so they know what to expect. If you say 10 minutes – keep to that time.
If you say you are going, you need to go. Although it can be distressing to leave your child crying, delaying your departure can make it harder for them. They may not settle until you have gone. We will always phone you if they are too distressed and of course you are welcome to phone the kindergarten to see how they are.
These suggestions are some of the ideas we have found to be successful in many situations. However, every child is different and we will be flexible and discuss with you what approaches to try. You know your child best and it is important that we work together to make settling in as smooth and happy a process as possible.
You are welcome to stay for as long and often as you like and also to visit after your child has settled in. We’re always pleased to see you.