Home   Your Child   First days

First days

We want children to feel safe, stimulated and happy at The Barna-bus Pre School and to feel secure and comfortable with staff. 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 Barna-bus Pre School 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.

       Before a child starts to attend the setting, we use a variety of ways to provide his/her parents with information. These include written information (including our prospectus and policies), displays about activities available within the setting, information days and evenings and individual meetings with parents. 

       We provide opportunities for the child and his/her parents to visit the setting. We hold an informal open morning where all new children who are joining can meet and share this new experience together thus building familiarity with other peers and staff.

       We allocate a key person to each child and his/her family before she/he starts to attend; the key person welcomes and looks after the child and his/her parents at the child’s first session and during the settling-in process.

       We may offer a home visit by the person who will be the child’s key person, to ensure all relevant information about the child can be made known.

       We use pre-start visits and the first session at which a child attends to explain and complete with his/her parents the child’s registration records.

       When a child starts to attend, we explain the process of settling-in with his/her parents and jointly decide on the best way to help the child to settle into the setting.

       We have an expectation that the parent, carer or close relative, will stay for most of the session during the first week, gradually taking time away from their child, increasing this as and when the child is able to cope.

       Younger children will take longer to settle in, as will children who have not previously spent time away from home. Children who have had a period of absence may also need their parent to be on hand to re-settle them.

       We judge a child to be settled when they have formed a relationship with their key person; for example the child looks for the key person when he/she arrives, goes to them for comfort, and seems pleased to be with them. The child is also familiar with where things are and is pleased to see other children and participate in activities.

       When parents leave, we ask them to say goodbye to their child and explain that they will be coming back, and when.

       We recognise that some children will settle more readily than others but that some children who appear to settle rapidly are not ready to be left, so we expect that the parent will honour the commitment to stay for at least the first week.

       We do not believe that leaving a child to cry will help them to settle any quicker. We believe that a child’s distress will prevent them from learning and gaining the best from setting.

       We reserve the right not to accept a child into the setting without a parent or carer if the child finds it distressing to be left. This is especially the case with very young children.

       Within the first four to six weeks of starting we discuss and work with the child’s parents to create their child’s record of achievement.