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Starting nursery school is a big step for a small child, but a little forward planning can make all the difference to how well your child settles in. A reputable nursery, such as the Treehouse Nursery, will help you to prepare your child for the big day, and give you support until your child is settled.

Nursery school environment
Nursery school environment (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Prepare your child beforehand If your child knows what to expect when they go to nursery, they are more likely to settle in quickly. Before starting, take your child for a visit, and point out all the exciting things they will be able to do. Introduce them to the staff, so that they know who will be looking after them.

Read some books about starting nursery school; there are many available, and your child will relate to the experiences of the characters. Try and find out about the specific routines at your chosen nursery, so you can give your child as much detailed preparation as possible.

And it will also be helpful if your child develops some independent skills before starting, such as hanging up their own coat and getting themselves dressed.

Toilet training

Most nurseries expect that children are toilet trained before starting, but they are also realistic, and understand that there may be ‘accidents’, especially at first. You can help by encouraging your child to manage themselves independently, and by dressing them in clothes that are easy to manage, such as elasticated waists. You might also want to send some of your child’s own clothes with them, as they may feel better wearing familiar things.

Exude confidence

However you may feel on the big day itself, it’s essential that you convey confidence and enthusiasm to your child. They will pick up very quickly if you seem anxious or appear to be expecting problems. So pin a big smile to your face and make sure you speak optimistically about how much they will enjoy their day.

Give them time to settle Of course, for the first few days at least, your child may not want you to leave, and you should allow them time to become familiar with the routine. Good nurseries, such as the Treehouse Nursery, will be happy for you to stay at first, and you can gradually reduce the amount of time you stay over several days.

Establish a clear routine for leaving after a few days, try to make your departure quick and positive. Explain that you will be back later, and that they will have a great time. Give them a swift hug and kiss and leave promptly.  Try not to worry about tears; you can always call later to check on how they are, and the nursery will contact you if your child becomes very upset. In reality, they will probably have stopped crying by the time you reach the gate!

Starting nursery may be your child’s first independent step into the world, but handled carefully, it will be a positive experience that will stand them in good stead for the many other ‘firsts’ in their life.

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