Children settle best when they have a key person to relate to, who knows them and their parents well, and who can meet their individual needs. Research shows that a key person approach benefits the child, the parents, the staff and the setting by providing secure relationships in which children thrive, parents have confidence, staff are committed and the setting is a happy and dedicated place to attend or work in.
We want your child to feel safe, stimulated and happy in the setting and to feel secure and comfortable with our teachers. We also want parents to have confidence in both their children’s well-being and their role as active partners with the setting. 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.
We allocate a key person to each child before they start at the preschool. The key person welcomes and looks after your child at their first session and during the settling-in process. Younger children will take longer to settle in, as will children who have not previously spent time away from home. We hope that you will be able to stay for most of the session during the first week. Gradually spending less time with your child, increasing this when the child is able to cope. When parents leave, we ask them to say goodbye to their child and explain that they will be coming back, and when.
After a child’s first four weeks we invite you to a meeting to discuss the child’s progress. We judge a child to be settled when they have formed a relationship with their key person. This happens when your child looks for the key person when they arrive at the preschool, goes to them for comfort and seems pleased to be with them. Your child will also be familiar with where things are and will be pleased to see other children and adults and participate in activities.
For a complete description of our settling in policy and procedure see section 4.1 The role of the key person and settling-in.