Nursery - Getting along with nursery staff

It is important to find a nursery that takes the nurturing of personal relationships seriously; this guide will help you work on these relationships with nursery staff.

Your nursery should ensure that there are one or two nursery practitioners dedicated to you and your child. The special workers who will be assigned to you are called key persons or key carers.

You should get to know your key person once your child starts nursery and develop a strong and open relationship with them. Nursery staff are trained to value the input of parents and make them feel involved.

What can I do?

These steps will help to keep the relationship positive and open:

Keep communicating

Spend time whenever you can to find out about what your child has been doing during the day.

The key person is your point of contact at the nursery so fostering good communication is essential. A key person will share updates, photos, and videos with parents, often in diary format, either using software, written notes or face to face conversations. They are the person at nursery who aims to understand your child’s individual progress and development

best. You can usually add to the nursery notes so your key person and any other staff who come into contact with your child, can build a really good picture of each individual and their interests, likes and dislikes etc. This ensures continuity of care and a positive nursery experience.

Remember to let the nursery know if anything has happened at home which might affect your child’s behaviour at the nursery. A parent’s illness, the death of a grandparent, an older sibling starting school; all these events can change a child’s patterns of behaviour and it’s useful to let carers know what might be causing the changes.

Don’t send your child to nursery with an illness, It may seem obvious, but many nursery workers are amazed by the number of parents who are prepared to drop their child off in the morning with a temperature, in the hope that it will ‘just pass’.

Whilst balancing work and home commitments can be very stressful at times like this, try to set up good back-up care so that you do not end up in a no-win situation.

Get involved in the nursery

Many nurseries encourage parents to join in the life of the nursery as much as they can. Some like parents to get involved during the day, but if that isn’t possible, there may be parents’ evenings, weekend events and newsletters that keep parents informed about the nursery.

It is good for your child to see your interest in their care setting, and it can help to nurture positive relationships if you spend time getting to know the nursery staff.

Don’t be the last to pick up your child every night

Sometimes you can’t avoid being late, but you will do everyone a disservice if you are a habitual late comer at closing time. Not only will the staff find it irritating that they can’t go home, but they will start to pity your child if they are always the one left on their own after everyone else’s parents have collected their children. Many nurseries operate a fining system for late collections and ultimately could exclude your child from their setting.

Don’t send your child to nursery wearing their best clothes

Nurseries are for running, jumping, and playing with sand, water and paint. Remember to send your child in older, sturdier clothes that can withstand the wear and tear of nursery life and that are comfortable. Don’t forget to pack a couple of changes of clothes. Most nurseries allow you to leave a bag of spare clothes on your child’s peg.

Trust the judgment of nursery staff

The people who look after your child are childcare professionals, so don’t forget to trust their judgment, and listen to what they say to you about your child. It might be hard at times to swallow

some undesirable facts about your child’s behaviour but try to remember that staff are not trying to undermine you, they only want your child to develop in the best ways possible.

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