We have recently had a number of children transitioning to us from our Toddler Rooms. They have all settled really well and it is lovely to see them all coming in in the morning with big smiles on their faces. We prepare their peg picture, self-registration mini-me and their picture place cards for meals before they move up into the room. The children love showing their parents where their new peg is and it encourages them to hang their own coats up when they arrive in the morning.
Transitions can be a very difficult for a child to experience and it is important that we, as practitioners support both them and their parents throughout it. Transitions are milestone events for children and have a definite effect on each individual child. These are times of exciting change and new opportunities, but it can cause the child to feel uncertain as their surroundings and environment are not the same and they may not be familiar with the staff in the room and routines may differ.
It is vital that the transition process for each child meets their individual needs and that it involves not only the child and the practitioners, but also their parents. When the settling in period is positive for the child, it not only has an impact on their happiness throughout their time in the setting but also on how the child views future transitions. Children who have a positive start in their new environment are more likely to feel comfortable, relaxed and valued, feel good about themselves as learners and have a sense of belonging to their new environment.
When a transition is occurring from room to room, the child’s Key Person is responsible for filling in a Key Person to Key Person form to discuss with their new Key Person and then share this information with parents. A number of visits are then arranged which usually begin with the new Key Person visiting the child in their current room. We find this allows the child to become familiar with their new Key Person in an environment which is familiar to them and somewhere that they feel comfortable. From here, a number of visits are arranged for the child to visit their new room. Sometimes the child may need a number of visits and other times the child only needs a couple. This is a decision made between the Key Persons and always taking into account the child’s individual needs.