Settling In

Guidance on the First Month and Settling In

When children join the nursery it is often a first experience of separation from a parent and so it is to be expected there will be some upset at first while they become familiar with the nursery environment and carers.

In the first weeks it is especially important we work together to settle your child quickly. We ask parents to help us by following much tried and tested strategies we know to work well.

At the induction we write up a care plan and arrange dates for settling in sessions also. Some sessions are given free of charge. As a minimum we always recommend two half days before your child’s first whole day. If more sessions are needed these are available upon request.

Working together in this way most children will have made some good progress by about the third or fourth day, and be fully settled within a month of starting. Sleeping can sometimes take a little longer to achieve although please don’t worry there is always a walk out in a buggy if needed. 


Things that help settle your child

  • Four or more sessions close together will enable your child to build up a good memory of the nursery as opposed to the same number of sessions with gaps over a longer period
  • Being consistent in everything you do when coming to the nursery each day. Repetition gives familiarity with events, and reassures children
  • Recognition of carers
  • Being positive in everything you do even if you feel a little upset when leaving. Discuss any concerns away from your child so they cannot hear you. Babies and very young children will understand most things you say.


  • Come at the same time each day if possible and when your child is not too tired
  • Stay only for a brief time when arriving, no more than five minutes
  • Let your child know you are leaving, say goodbye
  • Telephone or text the nursery to find out how your child is managing


  • Return if your child begins to cry or reach out for you after saying goodbye
  • Sneak away without saying goodbye
  • Stay for long after arriving
  • Say ‘I think he is going to cry’ or ‘she doesn’t eat anything’ or ‘is a bad sleeper’
  • Bring your child to nursery if they have a high temperature or seem unwell
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