Little Learning School opened its doors at our first two Melbourne centres on the 30th October 2017 in Wyndham Vale and Sandringham.
Prior to the opening of the centres, Educators worked with the families to ensure that orientation visits allowed for the establishment of trust with the families. The families were given the opportunity to ask any questions that they had about the services and to outline their expectations of care and goals for the children. It allowed for the Educators to establish and develop bonds with the children.
Following the opening of the centres, Educators have further developed these relationships with both families and the children. Routines are now emerging with a focus on the needs of individual children, their interests and their developmental stage. Feedback to date from families has been exceptionally strong and we are consistently hearing that the families are excited and enjoying their introduction to our Little Learning School family and the children are growing in their confidence and independence each day.
Families were given helpful tips on settling their child into care, as we recognise the significance of this transition into Early Learning care – especially for children who have not previously attended early learning care.
Here are some of our top tips for assisting a child in settling into care in an early learning environment for the first time.
- Prepare your child by talking to them in advance, tell them where they will be going, what they will be doing.
- Take your child to visit the centre on a few occasions through the orientation process arranged with the centre before you need to leave them for the first time. Show your child where they will be going. Answer any questions they may have openly and honestly reassuring them that everything is OK. For non-verbal/very young children, reassuring them with your calm approach and positive approach to the new environment will assist. The Educators in your child’s room will assist you with this
- If possible, try to build up the amount of time that your child is in care gradually each visit.
- Arrive at least 15 minutes ahead of time so that you can help your child to settle into an activity or with an Educator before you have to leave. They are less likely to protest your departure if they are having fun and involved with an activity or are feeling secure.
- Try to establish a “goodbye” routine with your child – e.g. Each time you drop your child off, read a story, do a puzzle etc. The consistency of the routine will assist the child.
- Send along a familiar comforting object such as a favourite stuffed animal or security blanket. Your child may find it easier to adjust to a particular care situation having a favoured toy to hold when feeling anxious or upset.
- Pay attention to your own body language when saying goodbye to your child. If you’re feeling uncertain about the new arrangement you could be conveying some of your own anxiety to your child.
- Resist the temptation to sneak out the door while your child isn’t looking. Fearing that you’re going to disappear again, your child may become unwilling to let you out of sight for a minute – even when you are at home.
- Ask the friendly and experienced Little Learning School Educators if they can provide any suggestions