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Settling In

5 steps to leaving without tears (new children, particularly 2 year olds and those leaving main carer for the first time)

The first two days of the autumn term will be dedicated to settling new children & families.

1. Parent comes into pre-school with their child, key carer plays with child, with parent ‘disengaged’. Once child has made eye contact and/or smiled at key carer move to step two….

2. Key carer plays with child, parent moves across room to get an object, child continues playing, parent comes straight back.

3. Parent goes out of sight – child happy does not look anxious and carries on playing = step four ….. child shows distress – back to step two.

4. Adult tells child I’m going to the office to get you a sticker I will be straight back’ ….. child happy … parent does what he/she said, if child not happy, keycarer and child get sticker with parent and go back to step three then try four again.

5. Once child is happy for parent to go for 1 minute to get sticker, parent tells child I’m going to go for 5 minutes and then be back, if achieved, child is ‘bonded’ with key carer and can be comforted if need be when parent leaves them in session.

Most children settle using this method within an hour, some take only minutes, others may take days. If the parent is anxious then the child will be. Bonding with parents will make the process quicker and more effective.

Week 1
Session 1 - parent comes with child and follows 5 steps, if all goes well parent leaves or they can take child after an hour and try again next time.

Session 2 – parent stays for as long as needed.

Session 3 – if child very distressed, parent is called after 1 hour, then go back through the 5 steps.