You can see how important it is to learn how to settle new
children into the environment, and how both the child and
their family members can be distressed by the separation.
You will find that there is more distress for both the baby and
their family in the 0 - 2 years age group than for the older children.
At this age, family members often feel reluctant to leave their
baby in the care of someone else and babies are beginning to form
strong attachments with their families and don't always understand
that their family will be back to pick them up later.
Parents and children will progress through a grieving process as a response to being separated from a loved one. During this time children need your understanding, your time and support to assist them to begin to feel safe and secure and to trust that their needs will be met in this new environment. Distressed and crying children should not be ignored; they should be responded to according to the cues they give. For example, some children may need close physical contact, others may just need you to be sitting nearby. All children need kindness and their own time to work through separation process.
Remember - crying is a form of communication which needs to be responded to in a gentle and loving way. The amount of time the child takes to settle in differs according to their temperament, earlier attachments the child has made and the amount of preparation that happened prior to the child commencing at the centre. Never insist that a child stops crying as this may be the only way they can express their feelings.
If you work or have previously worked in a child
care setting, share your ideas about ways you helped
(or saw other workers helping) new children and their families
settle into your centre or family day care. You may have seen
this situation occur while you were on your Supervised Field
Do you have any tips that may help other people when they're
settling new children into their care? Post your thoughts
on the bulletin board.