The Puddleducks Day Nursery understands the importance of both you and your child feeling safe, happy and secure when with us. Starting a nursery can be a daunting experience for families – including the child.

At Puddleducks we ensure this experience is one that is treasured and truly captures the beginning of a long-lasting partnership between you and us. We pride ourselves in knowing our children extremely well, however when a new child joins, we recognise that we don’t know them – we need to get to know them, enable them to feel safe and give them time to welcome us into their play, building a trusting, secure friendly relationship with us. Starting nursery can be a big change for some, a walk in the park for others – it’s a very individual experience.

When starting with us we offer a ‘Pre-Start’ session which are completely flexible, and we do our best to arrange with you at a time of convenience. This is an hour pre-start which we will use to welcome you into the Nursery; you will be assigned a key person, which will be a member of staff who will support you and your child in getting to know us. They will find out as much about your child as possible – after all, you as parents/carers know everything about them and giving you time to share that with us is vital.

We recommend a pre-start is completed by all children and a parent/carer, the session will be where we invite you to stay with your child and spend this time with your key person. We endeavour to arrange this pre-start session the week before your child is due to start with us – ensuring that they are familiar with the staff and nursery and a time gap isn’t left between pre-starts sessions and their first day with us.

Before COVID19 we used to offer longer pre-starts, however although COVID brough a lot of changes for us, some we have amazingly seen the positive from. Doing 1 pre-start has seen the children settle in so much better, it has significantly reduced anxiety in the children no matter what their age, so although it may not seem like a lot, we have adapted our policy because of the proven impact it had on our children over the 18-month period of disruption. Don’t worry we will always be on hand to support you and answer all your questions no matter how small you may think they are.

Why we assign you a key person: This person forms an initial bond with your child and helps you as well as your child to feel safe, welcome, and secure in your new surroundings. Your key person will be an initial point of contact for you and is always there to assist you and answer any questions no matter how small. The key person is whom your child will form an initial bond to, once this has been formed, your child will become confident to seek out experiences and get to know other staff and children to form other friendships with. Your key person will also keep a developmental record for your child, called a Learning journey, this will track your child’s progress and ensure that we are always providing exciting play and learning experiences for your child, this will be share with you monthly via an online secure app.