Settling in visits are very important, not only for the child but also for you as parents. For some of you it might be the first time you are leaving your child and that in itself can be very traumatic.
I have worked in childcare for over 20 years and once you know your child is happy, safe, being cared for and having fun, you can go to work relaxed knowing they are okay.
I ask for a £20 deposit to secure your child’s place at Hazey Dayz. This also covers their settling in visits. There will be 3 x 1-hour visits and 1 x 2-hour visit. You will then be charged for a full day visit depending on what time you require your childcare place for, this allows me to see how your child settles during the day and how they sleep, eat and play.
Hugs and cuddles are vital during the early settling in period to help your child form attachments with me. I will hug and cuddle them as much as they need so they feel safe, loved, and ready to have fun, I will offer activities that I know they enjoy. I want each child to feel, safe, loved and happy in my care.
I also need parents to understand and be aware that as a childminder I care for a number of children each day of various ages. Whilst at home, if your child is under one, please make sure you are encouraging them to sit unaided and make sure they have everything they require for a full day.
Does your child have a comfort object? Blanket, dummy, teddy, something which reminds them of home and you, I used to spray my perfume on Molly’s bear for nursery, every time she cuddled it, she could smell me, it really helped.
When your child is with me, I will take photographs and write what they do ready to send it at the end of the day via WhatsApp, communication between us is key, even at the settling in stages, informing me how your child has been at home is important to knowing how your child will be during the day.
I want to prepare parents for a possible regression of toileting and other independence skills, especially if starting with me also coincides with other transitions in the child’s life such as a house move or a new sibling. I will support parents and the child as much as possible by providing lots of opportunities for developing independence and self-help skills and offering praise for trying as well as succeeding.
On our first initial visit I will ask lots of questions about your child so I know the child well before they start with me.
What happens if my child fails to settle?
If a child is failing to settle, I will offer a home visit and watch how they play and interact with parents and siblings at home. This can give me a powerful insight into how they might be supported when they first arrive. For example, some families always have the television on in the background or listen to the radio and the child might be missing this noise and will settle much better if they watch a short programme first.
There is no quick fix for children who are struggling to settle in and we may need to work closely together for quite a while to support the transition. However, children will normally settle eventually if they are given lots of support and if everyone is patient and allows them to express the emotions they need to share.
If a child is continuing to fail to settle, I will be honest with parents. We can either extend the settling-in period or, if I am very concerned about the child’s wellbeing, I might suggest to parents that their child might be better in a different setting and give notice.
This is not an ‘easy option’ but it can sometimes be the best outcome for the child.
Working with parents is key and the more information you can give me on your child the better they will settle.