Sunday 17 November 2019

The art of easing your child in

EDEL KENNEDY

Every child has their own personality and all will react differently when introduced to a crèche.



However, all are agreed that all children will learn to adapt -- but only if you introduce them in the correct way.

Crèche owner Antoinette Gibbons (44), who runs The Children's House Crèche and Montessori in Cavan town, said some children will run in the door and not look back, while others will try to hang on to their mother's leg and refuse to let go.

"For the child who doesn't want to go, you bring them for just five or 10 minutes on the first day," she said.

"You might stay in the room on the first day but on the second day you leave for five minutes.

"Then you bring them for half an hour, then an hour. You slowly build it up until they're comfortable and know that even though you leave, you will come back."

For some this process may take just a few days -- for others it will take up to a month.

Every child is assigned a "key worker" in a crèche and if one of the children is struggling, they will spend more time with them until they are comfortable in their new environment.

If a child is shy and they are with a boisterous group, it might start with the key worker keeping the child sat on their knee while they watch what is going on.

Then they're encouraged to sit on the floor beside the key worker, and gradually they will become used to the high level of activity and noise.

The same method is used when they are being moved from one room to another as they grow older.

They are eased into the new room over a number of days until they become comfortable in the new environment.

After-school care, when children are more aware, is often seen as a "tricky area".

Georga Dowling (40) of Child's Play Crèche in Newbridge, Co Kildare, said the key is to involve the children in the planning of the activities.

"We do a lot of themes, so one day it might be drama and the next it might be science," she said.

"There are two different rooms, so if they don't want to take part in the activities they can go to the breakout room and have some time to themselves.

"Every September the children are given a budget and a catalogue and they can choose the toys and activities they want.

"They're engrossed because they have the decision-making power and at that age they need to show independence."

Ms Gibbons added that it is important that the parents ensure there are other children the same age in after-school care as it can be lonely if there are no other children of the same age to play with.

Irish Independent

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