Statement of intent
We want children to feel safe, stimulated and happy in the setting 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 setting 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 and individual meetings with parents.
- We allocate a key person to each child and his/her family when she/he starts to attend; a designated 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, to ensure all relevant information about the child can be made known.
- We ask parents to stay for the whole of the first session that their child attends. We use this opportunity to explain and complete, with his/her parents/carers, the child’s registration records and other documents. This is a time when useful information can be exchanged. Parents will have an opportunity to read the Nursery School policies and Ofsted report as well as see how their child is responding to the staff and children within the setting. .
- 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 the whole of the first session. Parents may leave their child on the next visit, but are asked to easily contactable, and within easy reach of the nursery, in case the child becomes very distressed. A gentle programme of settling in is arranged for children who are not yet emotionally ready to leave their parent. For example: gradually taking time away from their child in the quiet room or resources room where they are away from their child, but are easily accessible should the child become distress., 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 a key person; for example the child looks for that 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 until their child is settled.
- 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. It is the policy of The Ark to contact the parents/carers if a child becomes very distressed and cannot be consoled after 20 minutes. It is felt that emotional harm can be caused by continual separation at this time.
- 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.