Clanfield Pre-School

Starting pre-school can seem a big leap. At Clanfield, we offer an exciting, nurturing and professional environment for your little ones first steps into school.  With excellent Outdoor Learning and our highly experienced staff, we are confident that your child will enjoy every minute of their time here, just as we do! 

Main Street, Clanfield. Oxon. OX18 2SP
 Tel: 01367 810365
​Text/Out of Hours: 07826 839173

New Starters

Starting Pre-School can be a scary step for parents and children. Children have to get use to a new routine and often both parent and children can suffer seperation anxiety while they get use to the transition. At Clanfield, we understand how this can feel and are fully dedicated to ensuring the 'settling' in process is as smooth and supported as possible. The key to this is in open and effective communication. We manange this process through a number of simple steps:

1) Before a child starts to attend the Pre-school, we use a variety of ways to provide the child’s parents/carers with information. These include written information (including our welcome pack and policies), an invitation to visit the Pre-school for a tour of the premises and to attend part or whole of a session with their child.
2) Parents are provided with an ‘about me’ page to write down information regarding their child’s needs and special instruction to comfort the child should they become distressed. When a child starts to attend, we work with the child’s parents/carers to decide on the best way to help the child to settle into the Pre-school.
3) Your child is allocated a Key Worker before your child begins.  A Key Worker has special responsibilities for working with a small number of children, giving them the reassurance to feel safe and cared for and building relationships with their parents. A Key Worker helps the child to become familiar with the setting and to feel confident and safe within it.
4) As a small pre-school we have the wonderful benefit that all our staff can get to know the children quickly and so that if their main Key Worker is ever unavailable there is always a familiar and trusted person who knows the child well available.
5) In special cases we can arrange home visits and these can be beneficial to children who struggle to settle. This enables the child and Key Worker to form a positive relationship and get to know each other better.
6) Introductory visits can be arranged with the family to enable the child to become more familiar with the setting and practitioners while having the support of their parent /carer who stays with them.

Preparing for the 'big day' tips

  • The settling process can take 2-3 weeks with each child usually feeling at home after these few weeks. So please bear with it as  it can feel like a lifetime but actually it is just a process.

  • Try and attend the pre-starting visit(s) and 'stay and play' sessions as this will help make the setting familar and offer
    extra opportunity for peer-group interation/play.

  • In the weeks prior to the ‘big day’ talk to them about the new journey they are about to embark on, mentioning all the new
    and exciting things they will be doing.

  • Please make sure you provide us with details of your child’s requirements and preferences prior to their first visit. This means that their Key Person will then be equipped with the knowledge to ensure they can welcome and settle your child into nursery
    ​life with all the information you have offered. No question is ever a silly question and we encourage families to take an active role in nursery life.

  • Read books about ‘the first day’ with your child to prepare them for the experience. ‘My First Day at Nursery’ by Becky Edwards and Anthony Flintoff and ‘Maisy Goes to Playschool’ are two that have been tried and tested by some of our parents.

  • If this is the first time your child is going to be separated from you, you could help them prepare by spending short periods of time apart in the run up to their first day.

On The Day...

We will spend quality time getting to know your child on their first day, providing relaxed opportunities for them to choose what they play with, observing what makes them tick, their personality, likes and dislikes. This information is invaluable to your Key Person and helps them to plan experiences, activities, opportunities and games for your child.

Try not to be too anxious about leaving your child if he or she is crying. Our staff are experienced in dealing with these situations and have strategies to help them. We are always happy to arrange extra settling-in sessions if either you or we feel they would be beneficial. With a smile clearly explain that you will see them later. Aim not to prolong the goodbye, as hard as this maybe, trust us, it is better for your child, they can
​then focus on getting on with their day as quickly as possible and will settle faster in the long-run.