Your child joining an early learning and care service is a big step for the whole family. This transition from having your child at home with you to leaving them in the care of others is an emotional time.
During the lead up to this transition you can begin to develop a positive relationship with the people who will take care of your child. Building a relationship of trust and respect will help to ease this transition for you all.
Settling in policy
The early learning and care service will have a ‘settling in policy’. This policy will tell you about the guidelines and procedures the service uses to help children settle in. It will tell you how you and the staff will work together to make this transition as easy as possible for your child. If the service have not discussed the settling in procedures with you already please ask as having clear guidelines will help you all during this time.
Getting to know you each other
You may be asked to fill in a form which will detail things that are unique to your child, such as details about your family, what your child likes to play with, who is he/she close to, how do you comfort your child when he/she is upset, what kind of food he/she likes to eat. This information all helps the early years educator to ease the transition for your child.
Spend time in the service, this will give you and your child the opportunity to get to know the people who will be taking care of him/her. It also allows the service to get to know you and your child’s needs. Your child may settle quickly or may need more time, work together with the early years educator to decide when is the best time for you to say goodbye.
What is a key worker ?
The key worker is the person in a service that your child can relate to in a special way. This will be a staff member who is assigned a small number of children so that they can pay close attention to the child’s development and needs.
What will the key worker do?
The key worker will help your child to manage transitions from one activity to another. They will also work to build on their relationship with your child ensuring that he/she feels cared for. The most important part of a key workers role is to develop a relationship with you and your child.
“There are no strangers, only friends you have not met yet”