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Preparing for change

Children With Bricks2

Whether your child is about to return to or start at school, childminder's or nursery, there are things you can do to make this change a little easier.

  • Talk with your child about what will happen
  • Try to think of the things that they will enjoy, such as being with friends, learning new things, painting or football
  • Listen to what they are worried about... it's okay to be worried
  • Reassure them that staff in schools and early years settings are working very hard to keep children safe, and are looking forward to seeing them

Many schools have a website. You'll be able to see what the building, teachers and uniform look like, even if you can't visit beforehand.

You can get in touch with the school, childminder or nursery if you have questions. You can share information about your child that may be helpful, such as:

  • "My child likes outdoor play, painting and dogs"
  • "My child sometimes wets themselves, this happens when they are busy and leave it too late to go to the loo! I have put a change of clothes into their bag in case."
  • "My child has asthma and has an inhaler" 
  • "My child's granny is in hospital at the moment, and we are sad not to be able to see her"

Help your child to communicate

You can support your child to communicate by talking about things at home and using new words such as uniform, school, childminder, nursery, lunchbox, home time!

When your child asks you questions, try to give them an answer, even if the answer is" well that's a tricky question, I'll have to think about that." This helps them to feel confident to ask questions at school.

When your child goes to school, childminder or nursery for the first time

On the first day, your child might be able to bring a photo, small toy or book from home to help them feel more secure.

Say goodbye when leaving your child and reassure them you'll be coming back at the end of the day.

Show them how pleased you are to see them when you collect them. Some children worry that you'll forget about them. 

In the first few weeks your child might be anxious and more demanding. They may need more affection and reassurance.

Many children feel very tired, some can be a little grumpy. Some children become more babylike and want to sit on your knee because they miss the physical closeness they have had recently. Others feel very grown up and may assert their independence... "I can do it myself!"

Most of all, celebrate this milestone in your lives so take a photo and tell them how proud you are of them.

Further information

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