We have planned a daily routine to help guide us through the day, however this is completely flexible and will be adjusted to the individual needs of children as needed.  Routines can be important and as they help children to feel safe and secure and this helps them to adjust to new situations such as starting nursery.  All children and families have their own daily routines and we are very aware that we need to know about these and incorporated them into the nursery day as far as is possible in order to aid the settling in process.  Included in our welcome pack is a form about daily routines and we will discuss this with the child’s parents/carers prior to their start date.

An example of how the nursery routine may differ for some child may be ‘sleep’ and ‘meal’ times.  We may usually serve lunch at 12 noon and have ‘sleep at 1pm however a child may be used to sleeping from 11-12.30 pm and eating at 1pm so we would accommodate the child’s individual needs, allow them to sleep as needed and ensure lunch is saved appropriately for them.

Some examples of the way routines can aid the child’s daily journey and development are:-

  • Ease separation from main carer
  • Provide a comforting and reassuring environment
  • Help focus on various parts of the day
  • Shows a passage of time
  • Give an idea of what will happen next
  • Plan ahead
  • Foster cooperation
  • Aids transition from one activity to another
  • Build positive relationships
  • Develop confidence and self esteem
  • Build communities and a sense of belonging
  • Act independently

It is important to allow children to help form routines and some ways we do this are:-

  • Let children choose how they say goodbye to their parent/carer, e.g. a kiss and cuddle or share a story, bring a favourite toy
  • Ask them to help plan the day, e.g. what activities would they like to do and when, where would they like lunch
  • Sing a welcome/goodbye  song and let the children choose whose name to sing as the song goes round the group

Routines should reflect the individual learning needs of all the children and therefore may need to include auditory signals (singing a song/using keywords), visual clues (pictures/photographs/blinking lights), tactile clues (a touch on the shoulder).