Settling In Policy & Practice


We want children to feel safe and happy in the absence of their parents, to recognise other adults as a source of help and friendship and to be able to share with their parents afterwards the new learning experiences enjoyed in playgroup. We aim to create a warm and comforting environment where children are happy and have a sense of belonging. Due care and attention must be paid to a child's need for time to settle into any new environment.


Some ideas on how to prepare your child before joining playgroup are:


·         Parent and toddler groups

·         Open day / Informal visit / Prospectus

·         Talking it through (reassuring the child)

·         Books about playgroup

    The playgroup will:

·         Encourage parents/carers to visit the playgroup with their children in the term before admission is planned, and provide staff with information on their child's likes, dislikes, achievements and interests.

·         Introduce flexible admission procedures, if appropriate, to meet the needs of individual families and children.

·         Make clear to families from the outset that they will be supported in the playgroup for as long as it takes to settle their child there.

·         Reassure parents whose children seem to be taking a long time to settle in.

·         Encourage parents, where appropriate, to separate from their children for brief periods at first, gradually building up.


First Session


·         Have realistic expectations of children's behaviour.

·         For some children ½ - 1 hour is long enough.

·         There is no hard and fast rule and no time limit set upon the settling in process.

·         Parents are encouraged to stay with their child, for as long as necessary, for the child to be reassured that this new place and its people are safe as home.

·         Children may bring a favourite toy if needed to help settle in.

·         Don't sneak out, say goodbye and reassure your child you will be back soon.


Key Person

A key person approach is used in our setting. This means that each member of staff has a group of children for whom she/he has special responsibilities. Your child's key person will be the person who works with you to make sure that the care and education provided is right for your child's particular needs and interests.

When your child first starts at the setting, the key person will help your child to settle and throughout your child's time at the setting will help your child to benefit from the setting's activities. The setting's policy will make sure that its provision meets the needs of each individual child, and takes into account any special needs a child may have.

Staff will assess how young children are learning and developing by observing them frequently. They will use information gained from observations, as well as from photographs of your child to document their progress and where this may be leading them in their Learning Journey. As a parent you may be asked to contribute to assessment, sharing information about what your child likes to do at home and how you are supporting development.


‘It is these early transitions and how we cope with them that will have the greatest effect on the rest of our emotional development, and on our ability to cope with life’s challenges’

John Cousins, Early Years Update, October 2005

Your child will be eligible for a place in a funded school nursery the term following their third birthday. They will be entitled to 12.5 hours a week (expected to increase to 15 hours September 2010), which must be split over at least three days, though in our locality most nursery’s offer sessions in the mornings, five times a week, with three nursery schools still offering afternoon sessions also. We invite your child’s nursery teacher to come and visit your child in our setting, the term before they are due to start. We will discuss with the children their new nursery and promote enthusiasm towards it, our children take pride in their learning journeys and this is their special book that they take with them to their new nursery. When your child has a visit to nursery we encourage taking the child’s learning journey, as it contains all your child’s records of their learning and development in their time with us.


Written 04/05/09

Review   04/05/10


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