Policy: Settling In

Before you officially start with us, we'll be arranging time for your child to "settle in", the process in which they can happily and gradually integrate with our setting so they are comfortable and content by the time you need to get back to work...

At Hatching Dragons we aim to support parents and other carers to help their children settle quickly and easily by giving consideration to the individual needs and circumstances of every child and their families. Our aim is for children to feel safe, stimulated and happy in the nursery and to feel secure and comfortable with all staff. We also want parents to have confidence in both their children's continued well-being and their role as active partners, with the child being able to benefit from what the nursery has to offer.

All our staff know about the importance of building strong attachments with children. They are trained to recognise the different stages of attachment and use this knowledge to support children and families settling in to the nursery.  

The child and family will be set up on the school’s nursery management system with the contracted start date being the point at which the child’s actual rota / schedule of care begins. The Manager will determine which primary and secondary key person the child will have within his / her room and allocate in the nursery management system. Parents are also automatically emailed the school’s induction pack (for the City, for Westminster, for Canada Water) with the checklist of what to bring on page 6. Subject to the availability of key person and surplus staff, the manager may deploy for home visits in advance and will advise the parents to prepare the child emotionally for school, with pictures and discussion about the planned transition. Please see our transition policy for more detail

Each child is assigned a primary and a secondary key person (normally and English / Chinese practitioner team) who will be primarily responsible for the care of your child. Please see our key person policy for more detail. Settling in must only be booked in on the days when your key worker is deployed and / or working. Should the primary key person be on holiday, the secondary key person will be assigned and be overseen by the Room Leader.  

We offer 3-5 free 2 hour sessions to all children, booked on consecutive days on the days immediately prior to your contracted start date. The sessions last two hours and will be scheduled between the hours of 0930-1130 or 1430 and 1630 respectively. 

Settling in sessions will be issued on the 3-5 days prior to their official / scheduled and contracted start date via Google Calendar invite to the parents and key worker, ensuring that their email addresses are protected,, using the school’s “Settling In & Transitions” Calendar, to which the following documentation is attached:

  • the child’s registration form printed out from the nursery management system, detailing all dietary / medical and allergy information
  • The completed parent baseline assessment which is automatically issued to them post contract on jotform - copies of which are automatically issued to the relevant school email inbox ahead of time. Should the parents not have completed a baseline, Managers / Room Leaders and / or Key Presons should engage them in this during the first settle
  • the Settling In Form document that they manager / room leader and / or key worker will fill out during the first settle. 

Managers must ensure that: 

  • No two children are settling in the same room at the same time by reviewing the Settling In calendar. There are two settling in sessions available / room - 0930-1130 and / or 1430-1630
  • Not more than one new settler will be in one room in any week in the morning or afternoon session.
  • the settling child’s key person is deployed on the days in question and / or that the settling in sessions always occur when the key person is deployed into the rota.
  • The staff team and chef are adequately prepared and notified for the new arrival through proactive comms, as below

All staff tablets have access to the school’s “Settling In & Transitions” calendar via their tablets and Managers will notify the room leaders, key person and chef via Slack and / or in the school weekly staff meeting the week prior to the settle to: 

  • advise them of the new starter; 
  • to ensure that their pegs are prepared;
  • ensure that the dietary and allergy schedules are updated
  • Ensure that chef’s menu planning and meals have sufficient warning of any dietary and allergy needs
  • Print the child’s placemats for food
  • Procure the child’s school totes bags for the child’s clothes, linen and laundry
  • to provide the parents with a courtesy call to run through the Check List for what they need to bring. 
  • The  Settling In Checklist document will be available to the room leader, parent and team know what information needs to be run through

The first session is a perfect opportunity for the key person and / or manager to ensure that the child’s profile is full and complete. Note that the nursery management system contains various fields and sections (“All About Me” that allows the parent to detail specific aspects of their care routine - times of sleep, favourite foods and toys, and more - that can greatly aid the key person’s ability to act in loco parentis, The manager, key person and / or room leader should go through the checklist with the parent and the child’s profile on EY Log as the first administrative requirement of the settle to ensure that we have all the information we need to do our job. 

We should also run through key policies relevant to parents:

  • School Operations - hours of opening / closing; late drop off and collection fee penalties; the inset day timetable and days of closure; the routines of our day / meals that we offer; things they will need to bring (wellies / wet clothes / changes / nappies and cream and wipes etc)
  • Sickness & Illness - what to do if a child is sick and how we manage medication
  • Safeguarding - key points on child protection and our health and safety approach
  • Parent Communication - how we will report to them on their child’s development (daily diaries; formative and summative assessments) and how they have opportunities to feedback (whatsapp groups; PTA sessions and newsletters)
  • Key contacts and personnel - finance@hatching-dragons.com on bills; complaints@hatching-dragons.com for complaints; safeguarding@hatching-dragons.com for safeguarding concerns and the school email for all other enquiries. 
  • Food / meals and how we manage it - a print off of the most recent menu is always advisable to talk through

After the paperwork has been checked and reviewed, the settling in checklist should be updated with the parents signature. This document intends to be the notes and minutes of how both key person and parent feel the settling in has gone over the series of days the child is with us and is photographed when complete, signed by both parent and key person, shared with the manager via slack and uploaded to the child’s profile on EY Man / Log under the documents section for future reference / records. Should children require a longer settling in, the parent may opt to stay with the child for a longer period - their contractual period of care will remain the same, with the confirmed start date being true for billing purposes irrespective of the length of settle. 

As the child matures and progresses to new rooms within the school, the transition policy applies - which is similar to the Settling in policy: short two hour sessions in with the new room and new key person are booked into the Settling IN and transitions calendar ahead of time, in consultation with the parents, so that all are aware of the timetable and the documentation outlining the progress achieved.