Starting nursery or school is a big step for your child. It’s the beginning of a journey where they’re going to develop lifelong skills and knowledge as well as meet lots of new people. While this is an exciting time, naturally, it can also be very daunting.

Below we share some great ways to prepare your child for starting school so they can feel excited and look forward to it, rather than being scared.

Do a practice run

You can use pretend play to explore the idea of nursery before your child arrives on their first day. Act out common daily routines such as getting everything ready the night before, saying goodbye, singing songs, playing with other children, reading stories and taking naps.

It’s also a great idea to take your toddler to the nursery before they start. If the building is familiar to them they’re less likely to feel scared about being there on their first day.

Teach them to be independent

The teachers are there to support your child in any way they can but it’s a great help to both your little one and the teaching staff if they can do things like take their coat off, open their lunch box and put their shoes and backpack on their own, or with little assistance. The BabyCentre website has some great advice to help you teach your child how to become independent, you can read more by following the link:

Listen to any concerns your child has

It’s important that your child feels they can talk to you about their concerns. Let them know it’s perfectly normal to be nervous, excited, happy, sad or overwhelmed. Reassure them that lots of the other children will be feeling the same way. It can be particularly helpful if you share a time you started something new and were worried about it.

Adopt a healthy lifestyle

Around this time, it’s more important than ever that you’re promoting a healthy lifestyle for your child. Ensure they’re getting plenty of sleep and are going to bed and waking up at the same time so they’re in a great routine. Also make sure they’re eating a healthy and balanced diet. Developing children use lots of energy in new situations and it’s important that their lifestyle supports this.

If your child is shy

For a shy child, starting school or nursery can be incredibly daunting. Don’t push them too hard to come out of their shell because this will make them feel even more anxious. Instead, focus on how you can help to make them feel more comfortable about the situation.

- Ask the teachers if your child can meet them before school starts so they can become familiar with them beforehand

- Let the teachers know your child is shy so you can create a plan to help them feel more at ease

- Give your child plenty of time to prepare for the new arrangement

- Encourage your child to talk about their fears and be accepting of their concerns

- Practice at home by making a game out of all the different scenarios they may encounter such as a teacher talking to them or another child asking them to play


For further help visit:


Try to stay calm

Starting nursery isn’t just a big step for your child, it’s a big moment for you as well. You’re bound to be feeling a bit overwhelmed about your baby growing up and worried about how they’re going to get on in the big wide world without you by their side all the time.

Try to keep any concerns under control when you’re around your child because they will pick up on your emotions which could make them even more anxious.


If you have any concerns about your child starting at Tigers Day Nurseries, please do get in touch so that we can discuss how we can help your little one make the transition to nursery smoothly.