Transitions Policy

“Transitions” describes periods of change that are experienced by a child. 

These transitions happen throughout each day, each week and at specific times, as children progress through different periods of their lives. Most of these changes are natural stages which all children face. Transition is a journey rather than a destination; it is not a single event that merely ‘happens’.

Examples of transition include:
Getting up each morning
Travelling in the car or buggy
Coming into The Treasure Box
Transferring care from parent to Key Person
Starting to play
Joining an activity
Sitting down for a meal
Getting ready to go home
But in reality, there are many more subtle ones, such as: 
coming in from outside play, another child joining an activity, stopping a favourite game, toileting, etc.
Plus the bigger changes, such as: 
starting at a new setting, potty training, the birth of a new baby, or moving house.

Children’s lives are hectic! And children tend to have very little control over what happens to them.

But, getting transition right is vital for every child and it must involve children, early years practitioners and parents / carers: together. 
It depends on strong emotional bonds: the love between a child and their parent / carer, as well as the professional love between a child and their Key Person. Years of research into the theory of attachment show that children learn and develop best, when they have a strong attachment to their care giver. And that when children show high levels of well-being and involvement in their play, they are learning at their highest level. 

At The Treasure Box I believe that:
Children should feel loved.
Children should feel safe, secure, happy and engaged in their learning and play.
Parents / carers should feel confident that their child’s well-being is prioritised.
Parents / carers should be active partners in their child’s life at Preschool; communication is key.
Transitions should be organised around the specific needs of each unique child.

This Policy is intended to ensure that smooth transitions take place.

Transitions into my Nursery:

When a family expresses an interest in a place at The Treasure Box, they will be invited in for a stay-and-play session. They will be given information about my services and questions will be answered. An “Enquiry” form will be completed and they will be placed on my waiting list.

Starting at my Nursery
I acknowledge that this will be a big step for many children and families, but I aim to make it as smooth a process as possible.
In order to do this, I will collect as much information as I can, in my Registration Pack. This will include the child’s details, the particular care, health and educational needs of the child, likes and dislikes, routines, family photos, how to comfort the child if they become upset, etc.
Please note that a child will NOT be able to start at The Treasure Box until ALL documentation has been completed.

Settling in
I believe that:
Children settle best when they have a Key Person who ensures that they are safe, secure, happy, loved and valued.
Children thrive within positive relationships; where adults respond consistently and tune in to their needs.
Parents have confidence that their child’s needs will be met.
Parents see themselves as active partners in their child’s development at The Treasure Box.
Support from other Professionals involved with the child, is welcomed.
Knowledge about the child’s usual routine, likes and dislikes, is really helpful for the child’s wellbeing.

These beliefs fit with the EYFS Statutory Framework:
“The Key Person must help to ensure that every child’s learning and care is tailored to meet their individual needs. The Key Person must seek to engage and support parents and / or carers in guiding their child’s development at home. They should also help families engage with more specialist support if appropriate.”

Settling in will follow this process:
1. I, the child’s Key Person will visit them at home.
This will be an opportunity for the child to start to build a relationship with me, within familiar surroundings, whilst being fully supported by their parents / carers. (I am only interested in getting to know the child; not about how up to date the housework is).
2. The child has a stay-and-play session at The Treasure Box.
The relationship is built on and the child is introduced to their new surroundings, whilst being fully supported by their parents / carers.
3. The child plays with their parent / carer and Key Person, and then the parent / carer disengages from the play.
4. The child plays with their parent / carer and Key Person, and then the parent / carer moves away from the child a little, in order to pretend to read a book. 
5. The child plays with their Key Person whilst the parent remains alongside, and then the parent / carer moves around the setting, in and out of sight for just 10 seconds at a time. This may need to happen more than 20 times, before the child is comfortable.
6. The child plays with their Key person and then the parent / carer “pops out” of the room. The parent / carer confidently tells the child that they are popping out to get the child a sticker / toy and disappears from view for 1 minute.
7. Step 6 is repeated, building steadily up to 20 minutes and eventually 1 day, until the child is confident to be left by their parent / carer.
The speed with which this process takes place will depend on the confidence of the child and their parents / carers. It might take just a couple of visits or it might take several weeks. Each family is different.
The importance of strong attachments cannot be over emphasised.
I reserve the right NOT to accept a child into the setting without a parent / carer, if the child finds it distressing to be left.

Sharing information:
Children benefit if the adults who care for them (and about them) share information. 
This can take place: 
Verbally at the beginning and end of sessions.
On paper via your child’s Learning Folder.
Electronically through our Baby’s Days System, text, email, WhatsApp, Facebook.
At parents / carers meetings.
At stay-and-play sessions and home visits.
Via written notes, newsletters and paperwork (including Special Educational Needs Support Plans, Behaviour Support Plans, Education, Health and Care Plans EHCPs).
On outings and events.

I will always ask permission to share information with other professionals (unless it is regarding a safeguarding matter and to ask permission would place the child at risk of further harm).
It is important to share information with other settings that the child attends, or will attend, and the other Professionals involved with the family. Parents / carers, and I as the child’s Key Person / SENCo / Safeguarding Lead Practitioner, are all responsible for this two-way flow of information.
Day to day exchanges of information between parents / carers and the child’s Key Person are vital for ensuring that the child’s needs continue to be met.
Parents’ / carers’ meetings are valuable when planning the child’s next steps, reviewing and updating SEN Support Plans or Behaviour Plans, and when discussing areas of developmental or safeguarding concern.
Children’s progress is tracked on our Baby’s Days System, and each family has their own secure log-in, with 24/7 access. I actively encourage and support families to add photos, comments and share their insights into their child’s life at home.

Transitions to the next stage of education:
I strive to make transitions into any new setting, as smooth as possible. 
I will work with parents / carers to provide the receiving setting with an in-depth, holistic view of the child.
I will work with the child to prepare them for the changes to come.
I recommend that…
The child has transition stay-and-play sessions at the receiving setting, with the parent / carer and / or the existing Key Person.
The child’s new Key Person or Teacher visits the child both at The Treasure Box and at home.
All adults talk with the child about the changes that will be happening.
Role play is made available for the child to explore what their new life will be like.
Relevant books, social stories and photos are shared with the child.
Children’s worries, wishes and feelings are heard, however they communicate them.
Children’s self-care skills are practised, so that they are more confident in becoming independent.
In-depth knowledge about the child is gathered into one place and shared with the receiving setting.

In accordance with the EYFS I am happy to work with other settings that a child attends and I will “share information…. to help ensure the needs of all children are met.” The EYFS states that ” Providers must enable a regular two-way flow of information with parents and/or carers, and between providers, if a child is attending more than one setting.”

Vulnerable children / families and children with SEND:
My expectations…
I ask for parents / carers permission and consent to work with the other Professionals that are already involved with the child and / or family. 
I will also ask for permission to contact other Professionals who are yet to be involved with the family.
Information will be shared, so that the needs of the child can be met and so that the child is able to flourish.
I have an expectation that parents / carers and other Professionals, will all work with me in order to meet the needs of the child in a holistic way.
Support for the child may take the form of visits, meetings, reports, reviews, phone calls, referrals, support plans, medical needs plans, care plans, EHCPs, etc.

If a child about whom I have safeguarding concerns, leaves the setting, I will alert NCC Children’s Services. 

Covid-19 Considerations Appendix

I know that most children will welcome the transition back to The Treasure Box after lockdown. However, some will find it hard to re-engage with their early education, and they may need additional support to cope with the change and build their resilience. This could be because they have experienced a long period of disruption, feelings of loss, a bereavement, illness, family breakdown, poverty, mental health issues, or trauma.
In order to aid a smooth transition, I will check in with parents / carers, to see how the child has coped and what life has been like for them.
Children will benefit from predictable, basic routines at the Treasure Box, displayed on visual timetables.
Talking about our different experiences of lockdown in a non-judgemental way, will help everyone’s well-being.
A safe space will be made available for those children who need time on their own to process difficult feelings; with an adult on hand to provide support when needed.
I acknowledge that parents / carers will have engaged differently with their children’s education through lockdown. Some will have enjoyed the experience, whilst others will have struggled for a number of reasons. I ask that parents / carers let us know what it has been like for them and their child.
Mental health is everyone’s responsibility; if parents / carers / children are struggling with their mental health, I ask that they reach out to me for support.

Please check out our other Policies that show families how The Treasure Box will take good care of them and their child.

Reviewed by Louise Lawson Feb 2023