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Child For New Setting:
How To Help A Child Settle
In A New Environment

There are many ways you can prepare a child for new setting. You have to take the following steps into account before planning activities...

child for new setting

  • The background of the child e.g. is this the first time he has moved or he had many moves before?
  • Does he relate well to others?...A shy, withdrawn child who finds change to deal with will need lots of support with a move.
  • Where is he moving to? Is he staying in the locality or is he moving away to another country altogether, such as country of his parents birth.
  • How much information do the parents want you to give to the child? What sort of information do they want you to give? How much support will the child need? You should have discussions with parents to find this out to prepare the child for new setting.
  • How will you give this information? A shy child may find the information upsetting but a confident child may find it exciting. You should make sure the information is given sensitively so any distress is minimised.
  • Are you able to liase with a new setting to find out about their routines and activities? If you are, you can use this information in your activities to demonstrate the positive aspects of the move.
  • The information must be age appropriate and given in a way that the child can understand easily.
  • Can you visit the new setting or will you use role play and discussion to prepare the child for new setting?

Age And Separation

A child's age plays an important part in their reaction to being separated from their carers.

child for new setting
  • Babies under six months old are unlikely to show signs of distress as they have not yet formed a strong attachment to their primary carer.
  • Children between the ages of one and three years are most likely to show the most reaction to being separated. You need to be particularly sensitive to the children’s needs in this age group.
  • As children grow older they are able to understand that being separated from their carer does not mean they have lost them.
  • Children over four are less likely to react to short periods of separation but this does not depend on their previous experiences of separation. Most children will settle well as long as they know what the child care arrangements are that they like the setting they are in.

How To Help Children Relate To Each Other In A Setting

  • Plan activities that require children to co-operate with others
  • Boost children's self confidence
  • Praise children when they are sharing and taking turns
  • Provide a happy atmosphere
  • Be a good role model.

Stages Of Development Of Self Identity

2 – 3 Months

Babies begin to realise that they are separate beings from their parents. They learn this by realising that they can make things happen around them…e.g…hitting a ball makes it move.

9 – 12 Months

Babies begin to realise that objects are still there even if they can’t see them. This is known as object permanence. Once they understand this they begin to understand that people and objects still exist even when they are out of sight.

21 Months

By now, most children recognise themselves in mirror. If you put a spot on a child’s nose and show him a mirror and he touches his nose, he has developed self recognition.

2 Years

Most children know their name, gender and if they are little or large. By now most children have a feeling of identity and this coincides with them being coming more assertive and wanting to do things for themselves.

3 Years

Children now use imaginative or role play, such as the home corner and dressing up. They may play mums, babies, dads or fire fighters. This type of play can help children explore different roles.

5 – 7 Years

Children are now able to give a full description of themselves... e.g... my name is Daniel, I have brown eyes etc.

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