Settling in Pre-School Policy

Statement of intent

We want children to feel safe, secure, stimulated and happy in the pre-school and to feel secure and comfortable with staff. We also want parents and carers to have confidence in both their children’s well being and their role as active partners within the pre-school.


We aim to make the pre-school a welcome place where children settle quickly and easily because consideration has been given to the individual needs and circumstances of children and their families.


  • Before a child starts to attend the pre-school, we use a variety of ways to provide his/her parents with information. These include written information (including our welcome leaflet, prospectus and policies) and displays about pre-school activities.  We also offer parents an additional home visit which is ideally carried out by the key person.

  • During the half term before a child is enrolled, we provide opportunities for the child and his/her parents to visit the pre-school and stay for a whole session.

  • Together with the parents, we draw up a settling in plan outlining the best way to help the child settle into the pre-school and areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage we aim to focus on.

  • We allocate a key person to each child before he/ she starts to attend.

  • Prior to the child’s first session we explain and complete with his/ her parents the child’s registration and permission records.

  • We work in partnership with parents and carers and aim to follow the The ‘Five Step To Settling In Without Tears’, method of helping children settle within a Pre-school Setting


        1)   Child plays with Key-Person while the Parent is alongside, but less physically involved.

        2)   Child plays with the Key-Person while the Parent is able to go in and out of sight within the room.

        3)   Child plays with the Key-Person whilst the Parent is in and out of sight not always within the same room.

        4)   Child plays with the key-Person whilst the Parent pops in and out of the room to collect an object (1 minute absence). This can be simply to fetch a sticker; however the Parent needs to be able to learn to say good-bye with confidence. If is important that Parents are able to confidently say goodbye, because this is showing the child that the parent has confidence and trust in the Staff member concerned.

       5)   Parent leaves for 5 minutes

  • Prior to the child’s first session we explain and complete with his/ her parents the child’s registration, permission records, local authority outside agency form and obtain a copy of the 2 and a half year development check from the health visitors red record book.

  • We recognise that starting pre-school can be a worrying time for parents and children.  We aim to build positive relationships with parents and recognise that some children need more time to settle in before they are ready to attend the pre-school without their parents.  We work individually and sensitively with parents to ensure their individual needs are met.

  • Around 6 weeks after the child has started the key person will meet with the parents for a developmental review.