The Friendly Fish Day Nursery & Beach School understands the importance of both you and your child feeling safe, happy and secure when with us. Starting a nursery can be a daunting experience for families – including the child.

At The Friendly Fish we ensure this experience is one that is treasured and truly captures the beginning of a long lasting partnership between you and us. We pride ourselves in knowing our children extremely well, however when a new child joins we recognise that we don’t know them – we need to get to know them, enable them to feel safe and give them time to welcome us into their play, building a trusting, secure friendly relationship with us. Starting nursery can be a big change for some, a walk in the park for others – it’s a very individual experience.

When starting with us we offer ‘Pre-Start’ sessions which are completely flexible. These are 2 hour sessions which we will use to welcome you into the Nursery; you will be assigned a key person, which will be a member of staff who will support you and your child in getting to know us. They will find out as much about your child as possible – after all, you as parents/carers know everything about them and giving you time to share that with us is vital.

We recommend a minimum of 2 pre-starts are completed by all children, a two hour session where we invite you to stay with your child and spend this time with your key person, and then a second two hour session where we encourage you to settle your child before leaving them for a two hour session. We endeavour to arrange these pre-start sessions the week before your child is due to start with us – ensuring that they are familiar with the staff and nursery and a time gap isn’t left between pre-starts sessions and their first day with us.

Of course two pre-starts are not always enough for some children and their families; in this case we simply offer you more pre-start sessions until your child and you feel at home with us.

Why we assign you a key person: This person forms an initial bond with your child and helps you as well as your child to feel safe, welcome and secure in your new surroundings. Your key person will be an initial point of contact for you, and is always there to assist you and answer any questions no matter how small. The key person is whom your child will form an initial bond to, once this has been formed, your child will become confident to seek out experiences and get to know other staff and children to form other friendships with. Your key person will also keep a developmental record for your child, called a Learning journal, this will track your child’s progress and ensure that we are always providing exciting play and learning experiences for your child.