Table of content

Guidelines for settling in

Settling in schedule Child Psychology: What helps, what to keep in mind

After the official settling in period

Guidelines for settling in

At Children’s Garden, we strive to allow each individual child the best possible experience in their Preschool years. Due to the needs of all of the children, in the full group, we hold some firm guidelines around the way in which children enter their new world of play, learning, care and friendship.

These guidelines apply to every child entering the preschool, regardless of past experiences. Please be aware as a family, that this integration will take time from your work schedules. This gentle approach to integration allows your child the mental space required to make the adjustments to new routines, and to learn that parents will always return.

For children who settle with ease into their new routine, parents can be pleased to see such open attitudes, although please be aware that a reaction can occur as late as three months after settling in. For children who have difficulty adjusting, the settling in period can be lengthened to give your child the security and time needed. If this is the case, please speak with your classroom teacher.

Please understand the following behavior guide to help ease your child’s transition:

  • Ensure that there is plenty of time to take things slowly in the cloak room, and arrive on time at the classroom door.
  • Engage your child in the world around and the activities planned by the teacher.
  • Speak to the teacher while your child watches, and convey in body language that you trust this person.
  • When it is time to leave, leave promptly. If your child reacts strongly, get a teacher’s help in separating and walk quickly away, smiling.
  • Do not hang around the building, to catch a glimpse of how it is going. If your child sees you, they may get upset.
  • Pick up promptly, and leave the classroom calmly and with as little delay as possible, there are other children without parents who can find the situation stressful.
  • If you have concerns, and need to speak with a teacher, please organize a time to speak when the teacher can leave the group and speak with you alone. Do not voice concern in front of your child, as that sends signals of doubt.
  • Please keep in mind that the teachers have many children at a time to work with, and they may not havetime for talk, apart from very quick messages.
  • Expect that some crying or vengeful behaviour probably will occur. There are many various reactions that children have to being left in a new place, and often there is some anger toward the parent, who leaves. This is natural and will fade as your child integrates.

Please entrust the classroom staff with your precious child. They are professionals, with experience and warmth who welcome your child and family into their group. They will do everything in their power to make this a positive transition for your child.

Settling in Schedule

Time Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10
8.00- 9.00
9.00- 9.30 Parent and child present for formal orientation Parent and child present for formal orientation Child is settled by parent Child is settled by parent Child is settled by parent Child is settled by parent Child is settled by parent, parent leaves quickly Child is settled by parent, parent leaves quickly Child is settled by parent, parent leaves quickly Child is settled by parent, parent leaves quickly
9.30- 9.45 Parent leaves by 9.30 Parent leaves by 9.30 Parent leaves by 9.30 Parent leaves by 9.30
9.45- 10.30 Parent Returns at 10.30
10.30- 11.15 Parent returns at 11.15
11.15- 12.00 Child eats Lunch, Parent returns by 12.00 Child eats Lunch, Parent returns by 12.00
12.00- 13.30 Parent returns at 13.30
13.30- 13.45 Parent returns at 14.30 Parent returns at 14.30
13.45- 14.30
14.30- 15.00 Parent returns at 15.00
15.00- 17.00

Children who have completed the 10 day settling in program without complication, will be considered ‘integrated.

This settling in schedule applies to every child entering the preschool, regardless of past experiences. Please be aware as a family, that this integration will take time from your work schedules. This gentle approach to integration allows your child the mental space required to make the adjustments to new routines, and to learn that parents will always return.

Child Psychology: What helps, what to keep in mind

Starting a new routine in a new environment is stressful for most people. When that person is at the age of two to six, this process can be a terribly difficult experience. We wish to address some of frequent situations seen in this age group, and give ideas as to how an adult, care giver, parent and friend to a young child, we can help children adjust to their new routines.

Settling into a new preschool can feel to a small child like settling into a new culture

Most of us have been through culture shock in our lives. For a small child, new routines, toys, adults and friendships are exciting, scary and ultimately exhausting. It can take up to 3 months for an adult to start to feel like they can cope in a new culture. The same happens with children. They have their good days and their bad days. Some like the cultural emersion, others hate feeling the confusion. Some days they will need to run and exert their body when they get home, other days they may fall asleep the minute they are on familiar grounds.

Not seeing is not believing

For many children, when their parents leave them, they believe that they no longer exist. This is due to the fact

that very young children have to see to believe. Think of when your 6 month old reacted with delight every time bunny disappeared and reappeared behind the pillow. When mom and dad leave, care givers frequently hear ‘I have lost my mom and dad!’ from a very worried child. We establish routine for the children to give them the knowledge that the same thing happens each day. Children show up at the same time. Do the same thing, again and again until they can take on the next transition. That is why the ten day program looks like a stair way, inverted. We give them steps to trust us. You can help your child reason with the situation by giving them a concrete thing that you are doing ‘I am going to have a cup of tea,’ or ‘I am going shopping, and I will come back later.’

Anger

Many parents believe that a child cries in a new situation because they ‘don’t like it there.’ In general, studies show that a young child is fairly indifferent or even interested in new environments and people. What they don’t like, is that mom and dad leave. This makes them angry. They try to manipulate the situation using the tools they know best: crying, clinging, temper tantrums, screaming, running after. This is an emotional performance for the benefit of their best public: the parents. Once they understand that mom and dad are not hiding around a corner, they settle down, and usually make do with their situation. However, if mom and dad are seen to be hiding around a corner, then the performance not only continues but escalates. This is why parents must leave quickly and not peek!

Crying in Chorus

One of the things that can make a preschool settling in period rather difficult is the anxiety expressed in chorus, by a group of children who are all trying to cope with a new environment. This happens particularly with two year olds, who in general discover that two voices raised in protest are louder than one, and proceed to create siren like wailing. They actually find this quite interesting, so appearances are not all that they seem. Children in groups can be effected by other children’s parents coming and going…’Hey, where is MY mom and dad?’ Frequently a child who has calmed down can be affected by the group dynamic, so we try our best each day to maintain calm organization. Parents can help greatly with this effort by remembering to think of the GROUP of children, as well as their own child. Take a crying chorus with a grain of salt, and accept that this is a phase that will recede. In particular, once the older children demonstrate interest in activities, there is a general shift in group mood.

 Unexpected behavior and reaction

‘He is punishing us’ is what we hear from many parents, whose child is functioning extremely well in school, then falling apart at home. This can happen, and at any given time over the first three months of integration. For children with language learning needs, it can become a yearlong display of frustration. If your family experiences these extreme behaviors AFTER the first two weeks of settling, then talk to your classroom teacher.

After The Official Settling in Period:

 Parents of children who are having some complications in settling in, who need a longer integration period, will be contacted by their child´s teacher. She will suggest a way forward for your child, according to your own time table, to help ease the child’s integration.

CONTACT THE TEACHERS:

  • If you are on a very tight work schedule and must leave your child long hours as soon as Settling In Period is over, please let the teachers know.
  • If your child settles in well, then after a week or two shows aggression, anger or melt downs at home.
  • If your family is having difficulty in separation on a daily basis.

The staff will take note of your needs and do what they can to facilitate your needs. If you are having doubts or worries, then make an appointment to meet your child´s teacher and the director, for a meeting.