We think it can be safely said that the majority of parents worry about the first time their child goes to a nursery school. So many questions and thoughts run through your mind - Will they settle in easily? Will I have to leave them crying? Will they ever arrive smiling and walking through the doors independently? Don't worry too much - there are a few steps you can take to ease the process for both you and your child. Here's how to introduce your child to a nursery school.


Before starting at Dulwich Montessori

Talk positively about the Nursery to your child. Look together at the prospectus, Facebook page or the website so that they are familiar with the pictures of the surroundings and talk about things they might do at the nursery and how exciting that will be.


Perhaps you can make several journeys to the setting location, pointing out the route and the buildings/landmarks along the way so that your child becomes familiar. This helps your child immensely as they will start to point out things to you. You could ask your child to help you find the Nursery School together, giving them ownership and a sense of purpose.

We also offer free short settling in sessions before your child starts with us - either two sessions (one for 1 hour and one for 1 1/2 hours) or one longer 2 hour session if you struggle to fit two in. We will contact you to arrange those a few weeks before your child is booked to start with us.


First Days  at Dulwich Montessori

Tips for you – the parent

Remind yourself that this is a positive move for your child. Just think of the opportunity that you are giving him/her to gain skills that will hold him/her in good stead for their next step out into an environment that is totally new like Primary school.


Our staff always have the best interest of your child in mind and are there to support both your child and yourself. It is ok to ask questions, it is better to establish an open dialogue from the outset. If there is something that you do not understand it is important that you clarify it immediately.


Have a smile on your face when the door of the setting opens and the member of staff greets you and your child for the first time. Let your child see that this is going to be a good place for them and that you are happy that they are going (it is so important to give this positive energy to your child even if deep down you are feeling worried/nervous or tearful).


It is inevitable that your child will cry, whether as the front door opens or when you leave them for the first time. Now is the time to be strong and positively reinforce to them that they are going to have so much fun and that everything will be ok. It is also important to tell them that you are coming back in a very short while to see them again.

For the first few weeks, your child may have a different reaction each time you approach or arrive at the setting and it is equally important for you to be positive each time. They may run in one week and be very clingy the next, it may not necessarily be because they do not want to go inside, the upset may have been caused by something they saw or misunderstood along the journey. At this young age, consistency and routine is an important feature in the day to day experiences of your child.


Reassure yourself that this won’t last forever and as with most things in life change can sometimes be difficult to take on at the beginning, but things will improve. It is much harder on you as a parent as you will analyse things much more and also feel guilty. But don’t be hard on yourself, with the right nursery you will know and see how beneficial it has been for your child (but this may take a bit of time to recognise). Again, ensure you keep an open dialogue with nursery staff so that they are aware of how you/your child is feeling and can help you.


At Dulwich Montessori Nursery School we work in partnership with parents to establish trusting and respectful relationships with two way communication at the heart of what we do, to meet your child’s needs and achieve the best possible outcome for all. We want to help develop your child to their full potential in a loving, safe and stimulating way – this is a goal that we share with you as parents.