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For Parents

What to Expect When Settling Your Child at Nursery

We recognise starting nursery is a huge adjustment, not just for your little one but for the whole family. This is why, at Fennies, we have a robust settling in period in place to allow for the smoothest possible settles. Here’s an insight into what will happen once you have registered at one of our nurseries. 

parent and child at nursery

Starting nursery is a huge milestone that lays the groundwork for, not only your child’s education but for their whole life. Nursery is a place where they will learn important skills like making friends, developing a love for learning and creating healthy habits as they confidently develop their own unique little personalities.  

Not only is this a big adaptation for children, but it can also cause a significant shift in your whole family’s daily routines. This is why, at Fennies, we have a robust settling in period in place to allow for the smoothest possible transition 

Here’s an insight into what will happen once you have registered at one of our nurseries.  

First things first, as soon as you’ve registered at Fennies, we will arrange a phone call from your new Nursery Manager. They will be in touch to introduce themselves and organise your settling-in days. This is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may currently have at this time and for them to share any useful information about what to expect.  

On this call, you will be talked through how to use our parent app and given access to view our weekly nursery update posts. You will also be sent our ‘All About Me’ document to complete.  

The aim of our ‘All About Me’ document is to allow the whole team, but particularly your child’s key person, to understand your child as much as possible. The document includes lots of important information for you to fill in like: 

  • Who lives in your house 
  • What languages are spoken at home 
  • What experience your child has with playing with other children  
  • Who are the special people in your child’s life 
  • What your child is interested in  
  • What your child finds comforting  
  • Which foods your child likes and dislikes  
  • Any medical information such as allergies, dietary requirements and their current development  
  • Details around their current sleeping and toilet routines  
  • Any goals you have for your child during their time at nursery  
nursery practitioner smiling at child

The ‘All About Me’ document is a great way for the staff to get to know your child a little better before they join the nursery. It also means we can replicate any routines that are currently in place at home to make the transition to nursery that bit smoother.

Throughout your time at Fennies, you’ll continuously update this document as your child progresses and their developmental needs and interests change. This offers our parents a continuous line of communication with the Nursery Manager and the child’s key person, allowing us to provide the highest possible standard of care.  

Phone call with your Key Person

Following your call with the Nursery Manager, you will then have the opportunity to chat to your child’s key person 2 weeks before their start date.  

Your child’s key person plays a fundamental role throughout their nursery journey. They will play an integral role in supporting, comforting, and fully understanding your child’s progress and needs as they develop and grow. 

nursery practitioner reading book to children

A key person will know your child inside out and will continually be in communication with you throughout your child’s time at nursery. This will include anything from assisting with the settling in period, supporting you asyour child transitions to other rooms when they grow older, and sharing weekly observations with you about your child’s progress.  

Throughout this call, you’ll get to know your child’s key person a little better as they will talk you through what to expect during your first settle and cover any information around your child’s room. They will also answer any questions you may have ahead of starting the nursery.  

Your key person will also go through your ‘All About Me’ document, and you will discuss any special requirements your child may have. This can include dietary preferences, for example, if your child only eats halal meat or if they have a food allergy, or it can include any medical requirements such as if your child uses a wheelchair or suffers from any medical conditions. If this is the case, a care plan will also be put into place and adjustments will be made to the room when necessary. Working closely with all parents before you even join the nursery helps us understand these requirements and allows us to support your child as much as possible when they settle in.

Following this call, your key person will prepare a placemat for mealtimes (indicating any special dietary requirements) and ensure any medical forms or requirements are put in place ahead of your first settle.  

They will also share all relevant information with the Room Leader and the Buddy Key Person. A Buddy Key Person is who will support your child’s key person and will take sole responsibility for your child in the case your usual key person is away from the nursery or during their lunch break. They will always work closely together to ensure they are confident in understanding your child’s needs and in offering them the best standard of care.  

What to expect from your first settle

Your settling in period should be up to 5 sessions that span over a maximum of 2 weeks. The first sessions should last around 1 hour and increase in duration thereafter until you’ve eventually reached 6 hours. Your settles will be completely tailored to you and your child’s needs, and you can work with your child’s key person and Nursery Manager to decide how they can be structured.  

parent room in nursery

When you arrive at your first settle, you’ll be able to catch up with your Key Person in one of our purpose-built parent spaces. During this time, you’ll have the opportunity to share any updates that may have happened following your last phone call, and we will make sure that all the processes we’ve put in place are correct for your child. If your child is under 1 year old, you will also be asked to complete a Weaning Food List which involves ticking foods your child has been introduced to.

During your first settle, we encourage parents to remain on site just in case your child experiences any difficulty settling, you’ll be able to provide a little extra reassurance. Throughout all of your settles, you’re welcome to work or relax in our parent spaces.  

Once you’ve collected your child from their room, you will have the opportunity to have a catch-up with your key person to answer any questions you may have.  

What to expect from your second settle

Ahead of your second settle, all the room staff will have a thorough understanding of your child and any medical or dietary needs they may have. As well as this, the following things will have been put in place:  

  • A copy of the completed and signed Weaning Food List kept in an accessible file in the room that all room staff are aware of  
  • A copy of the completed and signed Weaning Food List shared with the kitchen staff  
  • A critical care plan will be put in place where relevant  
  • If your child is bottle-fed, all milk bottles are labelled and a bottle list with all relevant information will be completed  
  • All room staff will be made aware of any medical or dietary requirements your child may have  
  • All room staff will have read your ‘All About Me’ document to gain a deeper understanding of your child and their interests  

Following your second settle, you will be able to decide how to get the most out of your remaining 3 sessions, as this is something that’s unique to every child. By the third settle, children are usually much more relaxed when coming into the nursery and will have already developed bonds with the staff and children in their room. 

Your Nursery Manager and Key Person will be able to work with you to make sure that the best possible support is being offered throughout your transition into nursery life.  

To find out more about life at Fennies, get in touch or book your tour today!

Olivia Jones

Olivia Jones

Content Writer

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