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Settling In

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We want children to feel safe, stimulated and happy in the setting and to feel secure and comfortable with staff.  We aim to make the setting a welcoming place where children settle quickly and easily because consideration has been given to the individual needs and circumstances of children and their families.


  • Before a child starts to attend the setting, we use a variety of ways to provide parents with information.  These include written information (our Welcome Booklet and other literature), photographs showing activities within the setting and individual conversations with parents (face-to-face, by telephone or by e-mail).  We run an Open Morning and an Induction Meeting for parents so that we can talk about our practices and procedures and answer queries.

  • Before your child starts, we provide opportunities for the child and parents / carers to visit for at least one whole session.

  • We offer a home visit by the child’s Key Person, to ensure all relevant information about the child and their family can be made known.

  • We allocate a Key Person to each child and family before they start to attend.  The Key Person welcomes and looks after the child and parents on their visit session and at the child’s first session and during the settling-in process.  The child is given a photo of their Key Person to keep over the summer.

  • We provide feedback about how the settling-in is going by a variety of methods – face-to-face, telephone and written.

  • We use the home visit to discuss the child’s admissions forms with the parent / carer.  We also take a photograph of the child which will be displayed on their coat peg to welcome them when they first come in.

  • During the home visit and Induction Meeting we explain the process of settling-in to the parents / carers and jointly decide the best way to help the child to settle into Pre-school.

  • We have an expectation that the parent / carer or close relative will be available to stay for most of the session for the first few sessions if the child finds it distressing to be left.  They can gradually take time away from their child, increasing this as and when the child is able to cope.

  • When parents / carers leave we ask them to say goodbye to their child and explain that they will be coming back and when.

  • We do not believe that leaving a child to cry will help them to settle any quicker.  We believe that a child’s distress will prevent them from learning and gaining the best from the Pre-school.  If your child is crying continuously we will leave them for a maximum of 20 minutes before calling a parent or carer to come back to the Pre-school.

  • If we ask you to return to Pre-school because your child is upset, we request that you stay in the setting with them and if possible, try to resettle them.  If you take the child away, they may associate the Pre-school with being upset.


Policy reviewed: May 2019 (no changes made)

Next review: May 2020