Settling In Concept
Settling In: Important background information
The settling in process is designed to ensure that your child is given as much time as needed to feel happy and confident with us. For some children, especially those who have attended an early learning center before, the settling period could be quite brief. For many, it will take a few weeks for your child to connect with their new teacher, environment and routine. To ensure that your child begins their experience here relaxed and ready to learn, we ask that one of your child’s main caregivers allow ample time – four weeks - to settle into the Kita.
The first steps into a new world of life and experience in the kindergarten begin for your child.
In our half-open concept, your child and accompanying caregiver will be working with one member of the teaching staff closely. Your child will get to know this particular teacher well, and eventually able to be comforted by her or him in the absence of family members.
In case of the absence, another colleague will take care of you and your child. All educational staff are very sensitive and observe very closely the needs of the children during the settling in period.
Rules for the first week.
In the first week please come according to the scheduled by the teachers time.
During the first week the children stay until 12.00 o'clock at the latest. They do not participate in the lunch until the second week. It should not be overwhelming for the child. Also the nap time starts only in the second week.
Our teachers will communicate with you about the details of every day.+
1st day, 2nd and 3rd day:
For the first three days, the parents remain with the child for an hour with the group in our facility. It is a sufficient time for a child to get to know the new rooms and people.
We give you and your child the opportunity to observe or participate in group events. Your child decides which contacts to children and adults s/he wants to establish and how to join the game or activities.
The parents are the “safe harbor” for the child and s/he develops an attachment to the teacher. The child determines his own pace in the settling in period.
Today is a first attempt of the separation. After the teacher announces the time for separation, please leave the group and the facilities saying good bye to your child.
The teacher observes the reaction of your child and reacts accordingly. Teachers comfort the child showing them care and support. If the child is calmed her/himself with the comfort of the teacher after a short while, please stay out of the kindergarten to give us the opportunity to connect with your child. We always have the opportunity to get you, if it is necessary. At the end of this time we will arrange the next steps to extend the daily separation time. We take into account the weekends and other absences. If this first short break does not work, then your child needs some time. Trust your child and stay confident. We will try a new separation attempt in the next few days.
The 5th, 6th and 7th day:
If your child has mastered the first attempts of the separation, we will extend the time of the separation on a daily basis updating you every day.
From the 5th day, you bring your daughter / your son to the kindergarten in the morning and say goodbye to your child after a short time, without staying more than 10 minutes in the facilities.
On the 5th day please remain accessible near our kindergarten.
The next two days you can already arrange your plans outside of the Kita, but please be available over the phone at all times, as some children in this time suddenly develop strong "homesickness".
A cuddly toy or other "comforter" from home helps your child cope with any minor crises. Please pick up your children from us before lunch to allow for gradual settling in , as the time of separation gradually increase.
We will discuss with you next steps, as lunch and napping time on a daily basis.
2nd to 4th week:
The settling in period can take two to four weeks. We would like to encourage you to use this time so that you and your child can develop trust and get to know us. In our experience, the children have much easier in the process, if they are introduced to the new life situation with this settling in model.
What you can expect during the settling-in phase:
At the Kita and at home, there are several changes that could crop up during the settling in process. Your child may seem more hesitant, clingy or observant than usual. When your child does play, it may not be particularly concentrated play. It could also be that your child comes into conflict with other children more often than otherwise. Often, your child may begin to establish their place in the kindergarten group only after several weeks of attendance.
The settling-in phase can be very tiring for some children, so your child may also seem more tired than usual. She or he may even begin to nap more often or longer in the afternoons. Because children process events of the day while they sleep, there may be more disturbances in their nighttime sleep during this time. Additionally, she or he may not talk much about their experiences in the kindergarten and may not even want to come back to the kindergarten in the mornings. If so, no worries! These reactions are not at all unusual. In fact, they are very common during the settling-in phase.
Here are some helpful tips to encourage a successful settling in:
• Encourage your child to put their shoes and bag away in the morning, making them aware of their cubby and drawer space. This will help them to feel they belong.
• Speak in an open and friendly matter with teachers. This will help your child feel that they can trust teachers, too.
• If your child becomes upset as you leave and after you have said goodbye, do not linger or turn back. In our experience, many children calm down a few moments after their person has left. If you are not confident in leaving your child with the teacher, the child will sense this- which naturally, will leave your child uneasy and insecure. This works against the settling in process and most likely make the entire process much more difficult for them.
• Wait nearby; teachers will call you if your child has not settled within 5 minutes. Don’t worry: Teachers will never leave a crying child alone.
• You may like to develop a goodbye ritual.
Your child’s key teacher will be present in your child’s group during the entire settling process to ensure that she or he has a “safe harbor” from which to develop relationships with children and other teachers and learn the ins and outs of daily life. Please don’t hesitate to approach him or in a quiet moment with any questions or concerns you may have. Depending on the situation, your question might be quickly answered or you can arrange a time to speak when both have the time and attention to focus. The settling in process is for you too!
Thank you for your trust and your cooperation