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BLOG: Practical solutions for settling new starters

If you’re looking for a little inspiration and different ways to welcome new starters in to your setting, then look no further!

Alongside our free series of EY Smart training courses on Transitions, that focus on the emotional wellbeing of children during the settling in period, we’ve also compiled a shortlist of practical solutions that are already successfully being used in childcare settings across England and Wales:

  • Create a virtual, video tour of your setting that you can share with prospective parents or use Zoom to conduct them live.

  • Use digital communication channels such as email, Facebook, or WhatsApp to share further information about your setting, keeping in mind that some parents will be happy with group discussions, while others will prefer a one-to-one communication channel. Also remember to keep in mind GDPR best practice
  • Conduct initial meetings in an outdoor space, such as the local park, beach, or your own garden/outdoor space.

  • Host an open day and use pre-booked time slots to enable multiple visitors to safely view your setting (Currently England only)
  • Run your setting visit at a time when there are no children, and leave all doors and gates open to minimise the need for visitors to touch anything (Currently England only)
  • Provide hand gel or hand washing facilities for any visitors

  • Don’t cancel any planned home visits, but instead move them to the child’s garden, or consider an outside activity which the child can lead, such as a woodland walk
  • Limit the transfer of paper between the family’s home and your setting; if possible, switch to digital contracts, or utilise a phone call to get the information you need from parents in order to complete a contract on their behalf, so that all that’s needed is their signature

  • Find out about parents' preferred communication methods early on. If English is an additional language consider learning a few words to welcome families. Communicate regularly with parents, even more so than you would normally; either by uploading photos and notes to your digital learning journey, photographing your paper journal and sharing the day’s observations, or by simply sending photos and updates across the day
  • Feel confident to uphold your Covid-safe drop-off and collection policies, even for new starters – consider creating a community agreement, or if you’re in Wales, a parent agreement.

With huge thanks to Againsthegrain Childminding, Bubbles Nurseries, Lisa Colclough, Bell Windmill, Wise Owls Childminding, Seedlings Childminding, Alison Page, Pebbles Childcare, and Sunflower Childcare Solutions for allowing us to share their ideas.

Thank you for the advice tips on the blog, I’m a childminder finding new ways to do settling in sessions not inside my setting, so far I have meet new parents at local park, virtual tour of my setting & had parent chat on WhatsApp, after finding out my new child’s favourite story I made a video of me reading the story & sent it by WhatsApp, the parents were so great full & said what an amazing idea, their child could watch & listen overs & over again.
15/08/2020 08:30:30

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