Your first day working in a nursery might be just around the corner and the excitement is starting to set in. You might have earned your diploma in childcare and are ready to put it to use, or perhaps this is your first experience working with children and you’re hoping to learn some new skills. Whatever your experience, working with children will test you and no two days will be the same. However, this is what makes it so appealing to so many people, who crave the excitement that working in a nursery brings.
If the countdown is on to your first day, you might be wondering how best you can prepare yourself to make a great first impression. To help you, here’s a guide to ensure that you avoid stumbling at the first hurdle.
Request a run-through of the day
The nursery chain Kiddi Caru, as well as independent nurseries, will have day time routines and these are vital to help the day run smoothly. Many children will find comfort in their routine and it’s an important part of their development. You’ve probably got a vague idea of how an average day at the nursery pans out, but your employer may also send you an itinerary for your first day on the job. If they don’t, you should request a run-through of the day, to provide you with confidence going into your first day.
Routines may vary based upon the individual nursery, but the day will likely include:
- Welcome times — hanging up coats and bags and preparing for the day
- Circle times — show and tell, discussions
- Break times — tidying up, having lunch or snacks
- Play time — independent play
- Group activities — outdoor play or crafts, for example
- Home time — gathering belongings, greeting parents
As a new member of the team, you’ll want to be able to seamlessly integrate into the nursery —understanding the way that the day transpires will help you to do this.
Wear comfortable clothes
If you’re not provided with a uniform, then you’re going to want to wear comfortable clothes that aren’t at all restrictive. Your employer might suggest what to wear, but if not, wear something that is both professional and suitable for playing outdoors and getting covered in paint. You might want to wear a comfortable cotton t-shirt and jeans or stretchy trousers, that will prepare you for any eventuality.
This one isn’t exactly nursery-specific, as when you start any new job, you should always aim to arrive early. Not only will it make a great first impression, it will also allow your employer or trainer to provide you with all of the information and guidance that you’ll need prior to the children’s arrival. Give yourself at least ten minutes to ensure that you’re calm and confident when you arrive.
The key to acing your first day working in a nursery is not being afraid to ask too many questions — and there’s no such thing as a wrong or silly question. Every child will have specific needs, requirements and abilities, so it’s up to you to figure these out so that you can do your job to the best of your ability. Of course, your first day won’t be perfect and many of the skills that you’ll need to excel at your job can be learned through experience, so enjoy your first day and don’t put too much pressure on yourself!