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No settling in period at nursery due to restrictions and 2.5 year old

(14 Posts)
Morninglights Sun 15-Nov-20 07:24:23

We're looking at starting our DD two mornings at preschool for social interaction with other children as toddler groups etc been shut here since March. She was due to start in April with her 15 hours and although I'll be home for the next few months with new baby and it's not essential we think she'd really enjoy it and we can just about stretch to paying for two morning sessions a week for a short period until then.

Until now she's only been with me, and we don't see family that frequently due to distance and also restrictions, although she's very comfortable with her grandparents.

Nursery/preschool aren't able to allow a settling in period as before with me there for a bit before leaving so I would just need to drop her off at the door on her first day with people she doesn't know in an unfamiliar place and leave. I think she would settle eventually and appreciate there's no way round this but it feels like quite a difficult start to a new setting when she's used to being with me 24/7. It's also a shame as I think if I were able to stay for a session or part of one and then go she'd actually be very happy once engaged with other people and children as she's very sociable and wouldn't mind me going at all

Does anyone have any reassuring experiences? I'm trying to weigh up the best thing for her but think overall it would be in her interests to go, although also need to factor in a hospital stay for her which I think will be a little traumatic and which may disrupt the adjustment as well as it's likely to be soon although we just don't know for sure because of ongoing Covid delays

Or perhaps I'm overthinking it a little as the sessions are quite short at 3 hours and they can always call me to pick her up early if she's very upset

Any experiences welcome!

OP’s posts: |
Morninglights Sun 15-Nov-20 16:27:31

Bump to see if anyone has experience of their DC starting at a setting recently

OP’s posts: |
Grimbot Sun 15-Nov-20 16:37:32


I’ve been a stay at home mum to my son since he was born. I’ve always tried to make an effort to go to toddler groups to mix with other kids but obviously not recently due to lockdown.

I signed him up to our local preschool and much to my horror they told me they wouldn’t be doing any settling in sessions at all. He is a bit on the shy side and has never been looked after by anyone apart from me or occasionally his grandparents (only a handful of times due to them living on the other side of the country).

I spoke to the preschool manager over the phone expressing my concern. I could almost hear her rolling her eyes at me but she said she would call me if he was upset and couldn’t be calmed down, they wouldn’t just let him cry and that they’d put out lots of cars and fire engines (his favourite toys) on his first day.

We got a book called I’m starting nursery and he liked that and got used to the idea. We told him in advance that mummy and daddy wouldn’t be there but his teachers will take good care of him and that we will come and get him after a few hours.

As it happened I was worried about nothing. He raced in, not a care in the world. Had a great time and still loves it. He asks to go on days he’s not in and talks about how much he loves it and what he does with his friends.

Just to reassure you it can be unexpectedly fine. Hope it is for yours too. I’d definitely recommend having a phone call with your sons key worker so you can get to know each other a little.

Grimbot Sun 15-Nov-20 16:38:58

*sorry, your daughter not son. I have 2 boys so I always accidentally default to boy 😂

Russell19 Sun 15-Nov-20 16:44:52

For 3 hours I wouldn't be worried but if it were a 7am-5/6pm then I would be.

LividLaughLurve Sun 15-Nov-20 16:47:15

Mine will be under 1 when he starts nursery, has never been looked after by anyone else and even husband has never had him away from me for more than an hour.

Tbh I’m SHITTING it. How can I just leave him at a door with strangers and walk away??

Moonflower12 Sun 15-Nov-20 16:56:33

I'm a nursery teacher and have been for 20 years.
The situation is awful for us too. We really don't like children being in distress. We are being extra lovely to all our new starters. We make sure we've reassured the parents as they are not coping as well as the children!
Please don't upset yourself. We know how hard it is but I'm sure your DD will really enjoy preschool. It might take her a few days to settle but it's worth it.
Make sure those 2 mornings are spread during the week so a Monday and a Thursday for example. This makes it easier for the child as there is not such a gap between sessions.
Like PO has said, also prepare her with books etc.

Moonflower12 Sun 15-Nov-20 16:57:15


Morninglights Mon 16-Nov-20 16:37:10

Thank you, this is really reassuring and helpful

OP’s posts: |
SuperbGorgonzola Mon 16-Nov-20 16:48:51

My baby is doing settling in sessions this week but pre schoolers have more understanding. I can understand them not wanting you hanging around but I'm a bit surprised they're not allowing her to come in even for a settling in hour; you could easily go for a walk or sit in the car and they could ring if needed.

I do hope this isn't an example of "Corona Says No"

Babamamasheep Mon 16-Nov-20 16:55:18

Can they offer you settling in sessions outside? Parents aren’t allowed into our school at all but were welcome to stay in our outdoor area bit for a while before leaving which helped settle the most reluctant children.

wholelottaworry Mon 16-Nov-20 16:59:10

My DD started pre school without any settling at 2.5 in sept. Totally fine despite never having been to nursery - we did lots of school discussion, finding books about school etc beforehand and the school did an outdoor meeting with preschool teachers. She is a very sociable little one, so really she needed it and was totally ready for it. Has had a couple of wobbles in the morning a couple of days but they have stopped as soon as we got there and she has raced in. You may find she settles quicker for you not hovering with her anticipating you leaving - I have certainly found this true for us. Good luck!!

Ali657 Mon 16-Nov-20 17:11:57

My DD was 2.5 when she started in September 2 days a week. She is very shy so I was worried about how she would settle in. I think it actually worked out better for her. I was able to explain to her that nursery is only for children and teachers and grownups aren’t allowed in. I was so nervous about it at first though.

AlexaPlayWhiteNoise Mon 16-Nov-20 18:09:55

This was standard for my DSs playgroup. Parents couldn't stay at all (and this is pre pandemic) to settle. We read books about nursery and did a lot of prep about saying goodbye at the door etc. Tears the first few sessions but absolutely fine after a few minutes. And set the scene for going to school and Mummy not being able to come in etc.

My stomach definitely went tight the first few times though.

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