Settling In

It probably comes as no surprise to know that young children are primed to stay close to their parents.
From about eight months until around three years or older, children may react when their parents leave by crying or protesting.

The staff at Stepping Stones will work with you to prevent your child becoming too stressed when they first leave you.
The chances are you and your child will have attended a few introductory settling in sessions.
We believe that visiting a few times before leaving your child is important. This allows your child to become familiar with the staff, surroundings and the routines.
We also use a key-worker, which means that one person will take responsibility for the care of your child in the early days.

The best way to help your child settle in is to take a step back during the initial visits, and allow the staff to build a relationship with your child.
Being alongside your child constantly may give them a false impression that you will always be there with them.
They need to learn that this is a new place to enjoy playing with other children and our staff.
You should aim to slowly physically distance yourself from your child.

You may begin by telling your child that you’re going out of the room for a couple of minutes.
If they cope with this, then you can gradually increase this time period.

Children will pick up on your reactions. If they notice you relaxed and smiling they will feel that it is fine to stay.
The opposite of this is true in that if they feel you’re apprehensive they will respond by becoming fearful and clingy.

How quickly you can leave your child depends on the individual. Learning to settle in gradually and happily will stand them in good stead for starting school.

Sneaking off may seem like a good idea, particularly if your child is happily occupied, but long term, it may well cause some problems.
It might mean that when they stop playing and notice you’ve gone they become increasingly clingy.
Next time you bring your child in they’ll keep a watchful eye on you, rather than settling down.

Instead, develop a goodbye routine so your that child knows you’re leaving, but will feel confident you’re coming back.

We always welcome a phone call to see how your child is doing. You may be pleasantly surprised at just how quickly your child settled.

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