Getting used to kindergarten: procedure, tips and more

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The time before a child starts kindergarten is usually characterized by excitement and anticipation on the part of the child. However, when the time comes, completely different emotions and feelings can come to the fore. From curiosity and joy to despair, fear and crying, everything can be there. That’s why getting used to kindergarten is important. What to watch out for?

A difficult time

The transition from home to preschool is an exciting but potentially scary time for children. How children react to change can be very different and individual. While some children do not mind getting used to kindergarten and Curiosity and desire to discover predominate, other children are more likely frightened and that is why they react with crying, screaming and despair when their parents want to leave.

How the child reacts depends partly on him character and the essence. But also previous experience the child’s role, i.e. how much he/she interacted with peers before and how this happened, but also whether he/she was “in the care” of a carer, nursery school or even grandparents without parents.

So if the child initially reacts in an extreme way and wants to prevent the parents from leaving, this is by no means a cause for concern, as this is normal. parents should try enough time for yourself and the child for acclimatization, so that the child gradually gets used to the new situation.

Acclimatization concept

In addition to these aspects, the concept of day care/kindergarten also plays a role in getting used to kindergarten and the way it is implemented.

This is currently the most used concept for getting used to kindergarten in Germany Berlin acclimatization model. Here it is assumed that a Accompanied by a parent/significant carer it is necessary for the child to be able to adapt to a new situation and a new caregiver at the beginning and thus benefit from attending kindergarten. The model is divided into five steps:

  1. information to parentsthat they will be involved in the acclimatization process
  2. basic phase (3 days), the parent and the child stay in the nursery for approx. 1-2 hours, the parent observes their own child intensively and offers them reassurance, but is rather passive, as the specialist tries to gradually establish contact with the child
  3. First breakup attempt (going well: max. 30 minutes of separation, child cannot be calmed: parent returns) & Decisions regarding the acclimatization period (Child not calmed down: next attempt at separation only in the 2nd week, adaptation phase approx. 2-3 weeks; with a good attempt at separation: adaptation phase approx. 6 days)
  4. stabilization phaseThe stages of separation are prolonged, parents become active only if the situation cannot be corrected by an expert
  5. final stageThe parent is no longer present at the site but can be contacted at the end if the child has developed trust and a bond with the professional (e.g. may be comforted by this)

In addition to this model, there is also this one Munich acclimatization modelwhich counts on the active participation of everyone from the beginning, with a special focus on children’s group. The procedure is as follows:

  • preparatory phase from kindergarten, interviews with parents
  • exam weekthe child and parent spend the whole morning/afternoon getting to know the facility and experts who try to find out the child’s interests
  • No sooner than day 6: First breakup attempt (going well: extension of separation period in the following days)
  • Continuous conversations of parents during the acclimatization period

Parents should find out in time what concept the chosen kindergarten uses and how exactly it will work. Both models have in common that it is recommended maximum 2 children per week to start acclimatization. In this way, the local specialists can devote the necessary time to the new children and try to establish a bond early.

Tips for parents

Now it should be about what parents can do to ensure that the children’s adaptation to kindergarten goes well. That being said, they should give yourself and your child time and plan it. Parents are important at this stage, so they should take the time to be actively involved in the process. Those who plan a generous 4 weeks can approach the time in a relaxed manner.

In advance, parents can already give the child talk about kindergarten. However, it is necessary to avoid raving about how great it is in kindergarten no unrealistic expectations evoke in a child who might be disappointed when adapting to kindergarten. Rather, they should talk about what the child will be doing and what exactly is happening in the kindergarten. Here he can books and other media to be a support for a playful introduction of the topic. It is also positive if the parents together with the child, a bag, a snack box or something similar to kindergarten Choose and buy.

He should also in advance However, parents should also prepare for the upcoming change, because it is not only difficult for children. The smaller the children, the more difficult it is for parents to separate. However, it can have a negative effect on the child’s adaptation to kindergarten if the parents find it difficult to free themselves, because the children feel this, which can be disturbing. If the parents realize that the separation is difficult for them, they should to question and think, which is the reason. If it’s because of your chosen nursery, it might make sense to change if possible. Otherwise, on-site discussions with experts can also help.

It can help a child for the first time in kindergarten if it has something familiar about it. It can be a stuffed animal, a plush blanket, a blanket or something similar that gives him a sense of security. Parents should remember this and pack/give this to the child.

During the separation stages in preschool, parents should always say goodbye. When parents sneak away to avoid crying or other things, the child becomes restless and feels abandoned. Therefore, parents should always say goodbye.

But saying goodbye should not drag on forever. If the child cries, it is allowed and should not be left alone. However, despite everything, the parent should say goodbye and leave quickly because a long goodbye usually makes it even more difficult. Farewell rituals may also be introduced at this point, such as a goodbye kiss, which gives the child reassurance while signaling that the parent is now leaving. If the child is still crying, try to calm him down by professionals. If this does not succeed even after some time, the parent returns according to the model and takes over the role of comfort. This can happen a few times during the adaptation in the kindergarten and it shows that the child has not yet developed a sufficient bond and trust with the specialist and the adaptation needs more time, which is not harmful.

In order to be back really quickly in any of the above cases, this is also important in the later adjustment period be available and reliableto keep the child safe, the parents are there for them and they are not alone.

Also the regular and initially narrow one Exchange with professionals on site can be an important factor. Parents should take their tips, but also point out possible interests of the children themselves, which professionals can then use to build a bond.

Getting used to kindergarten is underway individually for each child and should therefore be carried out equally individually. The above tips are only indicative and not final or complete.

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