Settling in Phase
Entry into a Child Care Centre may well be a child’s first experience away from his or her parents and their home environment. It is therefore quite possible that the parents and the child will view this experience with mixed feelings of anticipation and anxiety.
It is structured and recommended to be adhered to in the following way;
Visit 1 – Get to Know You session. In this visit the parent and child stay for 2 hours. A strict start of 9:30 and a 11:30 departure for parent and child. During the visit the parent stays and assists with settling the child into their new environment and briefs the staff in the child’s routine.
2nd visit – Half Day- Child arrives at 9:30 and will stay through to 12:30. The parent may stay as long as they wish to but it is hoped that at some stage during the visit the parent gives staff the opportunity to bond with the child without them in the room. Most parents will leave and have a coffee in the staff room or go down the street. The child leaves the centre at 12:30 with the parent.
3rd Visit- Full Day. Child and parent arrive at 9:30. During this visit we encourage the parent to leave when the child is settled and come back at 4:00 pm at the latest for pick up.
If possible the child and parent should visit the centre for short periods before the child/children are to begin. Children need time to adjust to new situations so it is important for the child to visit the centre for a short time with his or her parents just to observe and perhaps try out some of the resources and experiences. They need this time to explore the environment and to begin to build a relationship with the caregivers.
Parents should also use this time to feel comfortable with the centre, room routines, staff, centre procedures, and to ask any questions and concerns they may feel to either room staff or management.
Information to take home:
Centre Booklet, Room Booklet, Information Pack, Swipe Security Tag, Policy Booklet
Staff’s role in the Orientation process
Staff will ensure:
That the child/children and parents are welcome and comfortable
Are shown where the toilets, lockers, etc are,
That the child is given the opportunity to participate in the activities and experiences that are occurring at the time, but is not pressured into doing something.
Parents are shown and informed of; the program display, parent notice boards, white board, medication/accident book,
That time is given to the parents to answer any questions and concerns as well as listening to any additional information the parent may wish to give you concerning their child’s needs. (Eating habits, comforters, behaviour, development, etc).
Phasing the child in gradually will help the child with the adjustment process. At Pooh Bear’s House we will endeavor to make parents feel at ease and comfortable, every encouragement will be given to the parent to help them support their children during this initial orientation.
Always tell the child when you are leaving – never dump and run.
Staff will explain the importance of this in helping the child to learn to trust you. Staff can always comfort an upset child, and will even encourage the child to wave goodbye to you as you exit the room. This helps in establishing a comfortable ‘goodbye’ routine. By sneaking out the door you can create more problems for both of you. Fearing that you’re going to disappear again, your child may become unwilling to let you out of his/her sight for a minute – even when the two of you are at home.
Parents will be encouraged to bring a favourite, named toy or security item from home (pillow, blanket, dummy, teddy etc) as this helps to break down the barriers between home and child care.