Tomorrow Munch will be moving to the 3-5’s room at nursery. This age group is the most demanded nursery place at Munch’s nursery as parents start to dip their toe into the nursery pond before the kids hit school age. The fact that the government currently pay for 5 ‘sessions’ per week from age 3 may also have something to do with it (woo hoo, our childcare costs will half!).
With that in mind, how can you prepare for nursery? Well we are nursery veterans, so I know how it feels to be dropping your little person off for the first time. I also know how lost you’ll feel as a parent that first day, week…so here are my tips to get you through that first few weeks.
- Make full use of the settling in sessions. Most nurseries will offer settling in sessions. Start with an amount of time you feel comfortable with (1 hour) and increase your time from there.
- Be prepared! Accidents happen, so make sure you include spare change of clothes, underwear, shoes and wellies/sun hat (anything else that’s seasonal) in your child’s bag.
- Keep yourself busy. No matter how many months you’ve gone over the decision in your head, you will fall foul to the guilt factor. So for those first few sessions, don’t sit solitary in a room debating whether you made the right decision. Occupy yourself and your mind!
- Consider allowing your child to take a favourite item from home. Not the giant life sized pooh bear, but perhaps a smaller soft toy that they can connect with if they feel homesick.
- Get to know the parents. You may be lucky enough that perhaps some of your child’s little friends attend the same nursery. But if not, try to arrange a play date with some of the other kids, so that your little one sees those faces with and without you being there.
- Arrive early. Even after 2 and a half years of nursery, we can have the odd ‘leg cling’ day. So if you can, give yourselves plenty of time to get in and get settled, so that neither of you are left crying at the door.
- Label everything! If you are like me, you won’t be sending your child to nursery in their Sunday best to get covered in paint and neither will anyone else. So chances are you will all turn up with the same Tesco jacket, so label with their names.
It’s a big step and a daunting one (mostly for us parents), but with any luck your child will be the one that runs off and takes to it with no bother what so ever.
Good luck and happy first day to all those little ones (and big hugs to all the parents).