📃Parents Settling in Pack
The tips below are designed to make the transition from home to Natural Nurture as smooth as possible for your child...and you! Of course the advice will vary slightly depending on the age of your child but we hope you'll find the general guidance below (taken from Netmums) adaptable, whatever your personal circumstances.
Children are incredibly intuitive and can pick up on adult stresses and anxieties. So in the run-up to the big day it's important to try and keep a positive mindset to avoid transferring stress onto your child. When you're feeling anxious try to remind yourself that your child will gain hugely from being a little more independent from you. They will be getting used to new environments, making new relationships and learning important social skills - all fantastic 'life training' and great preparation for formal education.
Be open with your child about what will be happening soon and the new change to their routine. Children like the security of routine so it's important to prepare them by chatting with them about Natural Nurture Nursery. Make a few 'trial runs' to Natural Nurture from the house so they become familiar with the location. Explain what Natural Nurture Nursery is all about - there will be lots of new friends to meet, lovely new toys to play with and animals to feed etc.
We will send you a link to Settling in Photobook containing photographs of the staff members, the different animals, the farm and nursery facilities, which we recommend you look through with your child helping them to build up familiarity with Natural Nurture before the big day.
We will provide a minimum of two hourly sessions (usually 9:30am -10:30am) for your child to attend. Unfortunately due to the pandemic you will not be able to join the session.
We find that if you tell your child that they are going to play and you're popping to the shops and will be back soon to collect them, helps the child to understand that you will return. This helps if it is transmitted with confidence to them as you know you will return and collect them, and that conveyed helps them embrace an experience of fun! This may really mean you stay in your car in the car park but in order for them to settle its good for them to know that you are leaving but coming back. Try and use a similar scenario, like when we go and visit granny and papa for instance.
Depending on the age of your child you might like to make a booklet together, to give to us, which could include family photos and pictures of your child doing their favourite things - older children can help you do this.
We understand the emotional turmoil you may be experiencing as you prepare to leave your little one with us. We have built up plenty of experience of looking after children that find the transition difficult, and know how to approach the challenge of separation anxiety. We are well versed in the art of distraction when mummy is about to leave!
If you're worried about any aspect of settling your child into Natural Nurture, please share your concerns with us.
It goes without saying that we want your child to be happy with us, so do keep in contact with your child’s key worker - just an informal chat when you pick your child up will suffice, so you both have an opportunity to say how you think the settling-in period is progressing.
Due to Covid-19 we are currently not allowing comforters or toys in from home.
That could be, a 'blankie' or a favourite cuddly toy. Any familiar reference from home can help reassure your child during the early days of settling into nursery. Of course the transition to Natural Nurture might coincide with the time when you were hoping to wean your little one off their dummy or blankie, but it's probably not advisable to do so during a period of change in your child's life. There aren't many adults walking round sucking dummies or clutching blankets so don't stress about sticking to timescales for giving up comforters!
Saying goodbye at the bus garden gate can test the resolve of even the most practically-minded parent. But it's really important to handle your departure in the right way - a 'clean break' where your child is clear about what is happening is far more preferable to spanning things out and confusing your child. Experts agree that you should tell your child that you are leaving, give them a kiss and then leave; but make sure they understand that you will be coming back for them soon. It's a good idea to give them some kind of time-related reference, eg "Mummy will pick you up in time for tea".
Even if your child cries as you leave, hold firm and continue on your way. Don't leave then go back if your child is crying, as heart-wrenching as that might feel. We will provide the comfort your child needs and there will be plenty of distraction to take their mind off your departure. This isn't easy, but keep in mind how much enjoyment your child will experience at Natural Nurture. We are more than happy for you to email / call during the day to check on your little one's progress, especially during those early days.
Your child may cry every day when you drop them off, for quite some time. Or you may find that just when you thought everything was starting to fall into place your child regresses and becomes tearful about drop-off for no apparent reason. But tears are just a normal form of expression for your child and do not necessarily indicate that there's a problem you need to follow up.
But please do talk to us if your child seems unusually upset. Many children will cry when mum or dad leaves but are then comforted and perfectly happy for the rest of the day. It's just that children can be rather indignant about being left out of mum's plans - the tears are just a normal way of vocalising this!
The settling-in period will probably be an incredibly tiring experience for your child. With a new environment to get used to, and lots of new people to get to know, there's lots for them to take on so try not to pack too many other activities or busy weekends into your schedule for a few weeks. Of course if your child is being particularly teary during these early days this could simply be a manifestation of physical and mental tiredness.
We have put together this information in the hope that it helps you to understand the layout of the nursery and settles you into the general routine of the nursery alongside your child.
Opening Times 8.00 – 5.00
Lunch is at 12.00noon
Farm Fun Bus Garden: This is where the children are dropped off and picked up.
Farm Fun Bus Bathroom: Located at the back of the bus
Nursery Hub: This is in one of the new builds, and where the children will change in and out of the their farm gear and have their lunch.
Fire-Pit Area - Here there is not only a firepit for some outdoor cooking but also a sensory garden, a climbing tower and sand pit. It is also in this area we practice our woodwork skills.
The Cottages: This is where the lunch is cooked
The Bund: This is located near the chickens, with a mud kitchen, and a large bund for the children to climb up and down.
Polytunnel: This is where the farm grows most of its vegetables etc. Depending on the season the children will help plant seeds or harvest the food.
Woodland: This is a woodland area, where the children can go and explore, make den’s and be close to nature.
Farm: The children get to explore the farm and it’s animals throughout the day
Our week is planned around a variety of activities: all of which are required to fulfil EYFS requirements. Activities are provided for all children taking into account their individual needs and interests, as well as we can. This is done by using information gathered through observations and assessments done by staff and information provided by you as parents/carers.
This information is also shared where applicable with other settings where a child attends more than one.
All children have access to all toys etc appropriate to their age group.
It is not written in stone and can be altered at any point to accommodate changes that may occur within or outside of the nursery environment.
Nappies are changed regularly throughout, this is time-tabled in during the day to help the day run more smoothly but when a nappy needs changing it is done whatever time of the day it is.
Older children are supported in toileting & potty training is addressed as and when support is required by parents or when a child is keen to do this.
All children are encouraged to wash their hands regularly particularly before snack and lunch, after playing outside, using the toilet and after meeting the animals.
We ensure that all meals are healthy and nutritious, and are happy to cater for children with food intolerances. All children have access to their water bottles throughout the day and are encouraged to drink regularly. They will also be offered water and/or milk at lunch.
Key persons are in place to ensure that every child is supported emotionally and helped to cope with any disruptions, upsets, & uncertainties that come their way, but with this in mind all staff are well informed and involved with all the children within the nursery. There are always lots of cuddles to go around.
It is our aim to make your child's days as enjoyable as possible and that they feel happy and secure when they are away from you.