Moving rooms at Nursery is hard work for some kids. Spike is in a relatively small nursery. There are three main rooms baby, toddler and preschool. Having been in the same nursery since 9 months old, Spike has now moved nursery rooms twice, once from baby to toddler room, and recently from toddler to preschool.
Moving rooms at Nursery
Obviously the main reason they move kids from one room to the next is because of the educational learning possibilities vary by age. Spike’s nursery has three rooms but others may have more, some even may have none. I believe its rare for a nursery to be one large age range, especially as the ratio of adults to children goes down as they hit different stages. In Spike’s nursery they move them from babies at 2, then from toddlers to preschool at 3.
Baby to toddler room transition
Spike was a little off for a week when she first moved to Toddlers. She loved her baby room and the nursery did a lot of settling in sessions which they said she dealt with fine. Due to her development she actually moved in the March before she turned 2. She was advanced enough to deal with the new aspects of learning and was becoming bored in the baby room. She was upset a little bit for a few days when I dropped her off in her new room. But she soon settled in. She knew the staff in the toddler room really well, which I think helped. Also, the toddler and baby room outside areas were linked, so she had spent time with most of the children in that area who she was now with in the toddler room.
Moving from toddler room to preschool
This time, things didn’t run as smoothly. Spike was introduced to the idea of the preschool room slowly about 2 months before she turned 3. She didn’t appear to enjoy the room as much but it was much louder and much busier than she was used to. She spent a lot of the time clinging to S, the nursery worker who was moving up into preschool with all the May babies – as there are that many of them, there were more adults needed in the room!
Settling in sessions
Much like the very beggining, starting a nursery, most nurseries will introduce the idea of a new room with the settling in sessions. Spike’s nursery did an hour or so in the preschool room with her nearly every day or every other day, until they believed she was ready for an afternoon. They were comfortable with her progress eventually and she moved up 3 weeks before her 3rd birthday.
Development leaps and tantrums
This coincided with what I believe must have been a development leap and Spike was already being a bit off at home. She would be fine in nursery but kick off as soon as we left. The transition of rooms didn’t help with this at all. So for about 2-3 weeks after she moved rooms we had a stressed, sad Spike. She would tantrum about tiny things and she was even playing up a bit at nursery, which was unheard of!
The first week of preschool
Most of this was her being scared about being in a new room and the added pressure of her development leap. That first week was my worst week ever. I would drop her off at nursery and the best way to deal with it all is to put a brave face on. Remind them they will be fine and they are in good hands with whichever member of nursery staff they are with and walk away with a smile on their face. This reinforces the idea they are safe, because you are happy leaving them in that space. If you appear fine they will eventually latch onto that idea. I was not fine. I got in the car and cried for the start of my commute more than once in that week. It was hell.
The second week of preschool
I learnt very quickly not to walk too far into the room at Preschool. If I did, it was harder to leave Spike. So the second week I walked in through the door, signed the register and left. Spike didn’t cry but I think a lot of this was to do with the fact she knew the nursery worker better who was on the early shift that week. It was a godsend actually as It meant week 3 got better, and so on and so forth.
Pick up time
I was always fine with Spike’s progress throughout this transition. Mostly because she was more than happy to stay and play. Most nights she was not interested in coming home. She would quite happily sit and play with her friends rather than come and say hello to me. So I knew in my heart of hearts she was fine.
7 weeks on
We’re now on week 7 of Preschool and thankfully, unless she’s had a bad night we’re doing loads better. She runs in happily most of the time now. She has her moments, especially if its a member of staff she’s still getting to know on the early shift. But she goes bounding in most mornings. Even more so on the days her bestie is in!
Keyworkers and changing staff
Spike was lucky that her key worker moved into the toddler room with her from baby room. Since moving into Preschool, as mentioned, she’s also had one of the member of staff move up with her. This is one of the things our nursery does really well. They identify the staff that work well with the children moving around and help move them around if they can. It’s kept Spike comfortable that’s for sure. If you are worried about your little one moving rooms talk to the nursery and ask about staffing. Ask how they plan on introducing them to the new staff and if any will be able to move along with them. It gives an unrivalled comfort to your little one knowing theres a familiar face around.