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  • Writer's pictureTanya K

New Parent Transition

Supporting a smooth transition into Growing Minds

Your first few weeks at a centre are a big change for parents and their children we have written this to help you prepare. Our centre is a home away from home. A place where infants and their families feel warmly welcomed valued and respected. We want to ensure that we have time to stop and learn about your family, your child and any concerns or issues you may have. We value this time and do not charge for the first 2 weeks of transition visits. You can come as many times as you wish during this period. We do this because we place great importance on this time. Our aim at this time is to:

  1. To familiarise your child with our environment and our teachers

  2. To create trust between each child, their parents and teachers

  3. For parents to demonstrate to their infant that this is a safe zone

  4. To allow time to share knowledge with our teachers about your child, your routine

Although transitioning into a new environment can be smooth for some children and families, we acknowledge that for others it can be a stressful process. We have outlined some strategies below designed to help support families during this process.

Transition visits

We encourage as many pre visits as required for children and families to become familiar with our environment and for us to learn about your child. During this period family members remain at the centre and are encouraged to be involved. We recommend that these visits happen between 9.30am-11am or after 1.30 to 3pm. We would rather your child visits us outside of sleep times to begin with, so please speak to one of our teachers to arrange a more suitable time if this is required.

Length of transition

We expect an average transition to occur over a 2- 4 week process for under two’s and 1-2 weeks for over two’s; however we are flexible with this and would prefer the process to take place at the child’s pace. Half days are generally recommended to begin with; therefore it is best for this process to commence before you return to work or other commitments.

If a child becomes distressed

During transition, if at any time your child becomes distressed a family member will be called. You might be encouraged to spend more time with them at the centre. Being involved in your child’s routine helps to further build trust (i.e. feeding them, changing their nappy).

Sleep time

Sleep time is the most stressful part of a transition for a child. In order for them to drift into a sleepy state, they need to feel relaxed and at ease first. For this reason we recommend that your child is not due for a sleep during the early stage of transition.

Create a predictable drop off ritual

We suggest creating a predictable ritual for drop of times once your child is settled. This helps them predict what will happen during drop off times and will ensure that they won’t be subjected to any daily surprises. Your teachers can help guide you with a ritual if you wish to design one.

Saying goodbye

Even though we understand that goodbyes can create tears, it is an important part of the process. Your child needs to know when you are leaving, rather than disappearing unexpectedly. Leaving without goodbyes adds to separation anxiety as it sends your child a message that you can disappear at any time. So please always say goodbye to your child.

Security objects

Comfort toys or security objects are highly recommended during this time.

Phone for updates

Please never hesitate to call us throughout the day for updates on how your child is settling! We would much prefer that you rang us and put your mind at ease, rather than felt anxious about your child’s day. Also as mentioned earlier please feel reassured that we will always call you if at any point your child becomes distressed.

Our teachers are very warm and caring, so please be reassured that your child will get lots of cuddles if they require them! They are also full of wonderful wisdom and advice so never hesitate to seek further comfort or support.

At Growing Minds we believe our centre should be a home away from home for our children. We believe that this settling time special for our parents and our tamariki.

This is inline with our philosophy of Te Whariki

Belonging – Mana Whenua Children and their families feel a sense of belonging. Goals Children and their families experience an environment where:

■ connecting links with the family and the wider world are affirmed and extended;

■ they know that they have a place;

■ they feel comfortable with the routines, customs, and regular events;

■ they know the limits and boundaries of acceptable behaviour

Growing Minds is a loving early learning environment with a team that will support your child’s transition. Check out what we have been up to lately over at our Facebook page.

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