This week has been full of Milestones. As well as rolling over, Jake has taken the big step of going to his settling in sessions at nursery. We have enrolled Jake in a Co-operative childcare nursery, which is local to us. They have over 47 locations nationwide and offer all-inclusive fees, which means they provide all formula, nappies and wipes as part of the service. Importantly for us, they offer half day sessions - which means that although Jake will be going 2 or 3 times a week, it will only be for the morning. Brilliant!
The sessions were broken down into 2 days, which is a good idea because it is much less intimidating and scary!
I took my mum along with us to session 1 at the nursery because mum is the other form of childcare we'll be using, along with daddy (around his shifts). It didn't start out to well as I half-dropped Jake in his car seat in the car park! Something I have never done! But luckily, he was OK and we were all fine.
The session was a real success. Jake was taken into the 0-2 year old's room, which will be where he spends his sessions and one of the staff members took hold of him. For over an hour he played with her, looked around, investigated things and even had his feed! He was really good, and didn't seem upset or overwhelmed by it. The only thing that started him was when a girl, who was a little poorly, started crying quite loudly...he wasn't sure about that!
Claire, the staff member who was inducting us took us through where he was up to so far in terms of developments and explained some of the ins and outs. The other children were all lovely (and very cute), and I left feeling very positive.
This time once we arrived and had been greeted and signed in, we took Jake to the baby room and we had to settle him in with his key worker - Tia. - and then leave.
Yes. Leave my child with someone I had met only once, for an hour.
I have to say that I was a bubbling mix of emotions. On one hand I was confident, because Jake seemed to like Tia when we were at our first session and he was well behaved for her. I was reassured by the fact that all of the other children seemed happy, and enjoying themselves. But, I was also suddenly very sick about the fact that I was leaving him in a place he didn't know - with people he didn't know.
As I left the room, to go and complete the paperwork, I was anxious. I hoped that he was ok and did feel a little torn - part of me wanted to just nip back and see! However, once we got into the room and began the admin side of things with Claire, the room leader, I became much more relaxed and at ease. Claire went to check Jake for me twice and to make sure that he wasn't upset. In fact - he took his feed comfortably from Tia and had been winded calmly.
The admin session allowed me to ask / find out the answers to the questions I had, for example:
- What sort of activities will he do?
- Who was going to be his key person?
- What happens if we are ever late to fetch him?
- How does safeguarding work here?
- What happens if Jake becomes ill or is hurt?
- Could we work together on weaning etc.?
- What clothes should he wear?
- What nappy brand do you use?
- And other practical questions.
In all, the admin session helped to alleviate my niggling concerns and by the end, when the contract was signed, I felt a lot happier.
We headed back to Jake. I was so happy to see him! There he was, sat on the floor between Tia's knees whilst she was singing 'row, row, row your boat' with lots of the other children sat around him in a horse shoe. He was happy, and taking it all in.
It made me smile, and I'm happy with the choice I've made.
I will keep you posted on Jake's nursery adventure!