3 – 4

First time at creche or school

Top tip

First time at creche or school

What to do with this activity?

If your child is going to crèche or pre-school soon, you and your child may be feeling uncertain or even anxious. By helping your child to manage this change successfully (getting through it together) you are building a great life skill. Here are some tips:

1) Talk positively about this new stage in their life. 

2) Give yourselves plenty of time as you get used to the new routine. Involve your child in getting their things ready the night before, and avoid rush in the morning. 

3) Help your child to feel secure by showing them that you are confident with the people working there.  Talk with the teacher or carer so that your child knows that they can feel safe with them.

4) If your child settles quickly, it's best to say "bye bye" and leave promptly. If you hang around they might begin to feel fearful and get upset. 

5) If they don't settle easily, leave it in the hands of the staff who are used to handling children. Reassure your child that you will be there to collect them later and leave. 

6) Always be on time when you collect your child. It can be frightening if they think you have forgotten them.

7) When you pick them up, make sure you give them some quality time to tell you about their day.


  • Why am I doing this?

    Children’s ability to think and understand experiences develops by listening and speaking. As a child’s language becomes more complex so does their ability to understand more complex thoughts and ideas. The family is the child’s first source of language and learning and there are lots of everyday activities that occur in the home, which can help children’s language skills. Your child will get better at using words when they practice words and hear the sounds of words.

  • How can I do more?

    Just keep talking and listening. Normal routines provide lots of opportunities for conversation and for all the family to learn new things. If you are walking down a street, point out things you see and talk about them. Explain new words, show the colours or point out shapes. Ask your child what animals or buildings they like. There’s no end to what you can talk about together.

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