Settling and Transition Policy
Settling into Preschool
Before children start attending Little Rock Preschool, we strongly recommend that you visit the Preschool with your child/ren so that they can become familiar with our centre, staff and the tamariki – this is not only vitally important to the child and whānau but also for the staff. We hope to use this time to share information and create a partnership between the home and Little Rock Preschool. You are welcome to ask as many questions as you like! We will spend time talking with you about your child’s routines, family, what comforts your child etc. These small details are really important for a successful transition into our Preschool.
We appreciate that it is not always possible to have more than one visit before starting, so we encourage children to become familiar with one/two teachers to ease the transition, as much as possible. Ideally we encourage at least 3 visits before your child starts to allow your child an opportunity to build relationships and develop a sense of belonging here. It is also helpful for staff to get to know them.
Little Rock Preschool is aware that some children take their own time to settle and feel comfortable with their whānau leaving them, so to make this transition as easy as possible, for all involved, we suggest that this is a gradual process. We always ask that you say “goodbye” when you leave rather than just slipping away, as children sometimes find this very upsetting to discover their parent/caregiver has gone. Making sure that you leave once you have actually said goodbye is a big help, too, so they don’t get confused. Even if this causes some tears it is better because they are much more likely to be short lived knowing that you have actually gone.
If you are worried, please feel free to give us a call a while later to check in on your child – many times they will have stopped crying as you are driving away!
Tears are very common, and children are all different! Sometimes tears happen on the first separation, for other children it can take a couple of weeks – it’s like they suddenly realise that their routine has changed and it takes a little adjustment. Many factors can affect them, such as how much time they have been away from you, or a new sibling, for example. We encourage you to stay as long as you like in the settling process, but for some children their development of a sense of wellbeing and belonging takes a longer time. For this we have found that it is made much easier if the drop-offs are fairly quick and you then return a bit earlier to spend some time with your child/ren at the end of their session (if possible) – as the anticipation of you leaving increases the longer you stay and adds to the separation stress.
Please talk with your child’s profile teacher if you have any concerns 🙂