Starting nursery is the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in a child’s life. But, for many parents, the day can also provoke feelings of anxiety and sadness, too. Having been virtually inseparable from their child from the moment they were born, parents are faced with the prospect of leaving their child in the care of strangers.
Knowing how difficult this transition can be for parents, Scallywags nursery in Rainham have come up with a really thoughtful way to support parents during this time. They’ve put together a ‘parent pack’ with a heartfelt poem on the outside. Opening up the pack, parents find a small packet of tissues, a sachet of coffee and a chocolate bar.
Director of Scallywags, Joanne Watson, said: “We pride ourselves on our ‘home from home’ ethos, and this is embedded in our family owned and run day nursery.
“We recognise the importance of settling in both our children and their families, starting with a home visit, progressing on to settling in sessions, then the first day ‘parent pack’ to show we are thinking of them too on their child’s first day.
“Parents are welcome to call us as many times as they like throughout the day and are guaranteed a warm and friendly welcome on their return. We enjoy starting these relationships with our families as we know how much they will benefit the children in our care.”
Mum-of-two Louise Martin, who uses the nursery, said: “Dropping my 10 month old off for his first day at nursery filled me with so much anxiety about leaving him and guilt about having to return to work.
“I was an emotional wreck and I felt a bit embarrassed for being upset. Receiving the little care package gift from the nursery staff as I left was so touching and although reading the lovely note made me cry, it also made me feel less silly for feeling so anxious about sending him to nursery.
“When people take the time to acknowledge how you are feeling it really makes a huge difference. I realised I wasn’t alone in feeling emotional at this time and that meant the world to me.”
Although a relatively small gesture, Scallywags’ thoughtful gift demonstrates that they really empathise with the worry that parents may feel during this transition period. And, if this is what the nursery does in order to make the day easier on anxious mums and dads, these same parents will draw comfort from the knowledge that their child is bound to be cared for in a similarly loving and attentive way.
We’d like to know what you do to support parents during the settling in period– drop us a comment in the box below!