The adaptation week program
is a copyright by Barbara Kulaç
created at Daisy International Nursery.

Adaptation week at our Nursery

The adaptation of a child to a new environment depends on many factors, and it is difficult to say how long it might take. Some children adapt in as little as a week, some of them need a month or even longer. Parents should be mindful that attending a Nursery is a challenge for their child. It would be too much to expect from a little baby to adjust “quickly” to a new place, to new adults and most of all to being away from their mummy.

Our Nursery offers a weekly adaptation period, during which parents and children have a chance to get to know the new environment.

The plan of the adaptation week shown below is only an outline. Each child is different, shows different reactions to changes; therefore its process is planned and implemented individually according to the child’s reactions and needs. This period is aided by the constant supervision of a psychologist.

Adaptation week plan

The adaptation week consists of 5 consecutive business days, from Monday to Friday (so that the adaptation period is not interrupted by the weekend). The parent that brings and picks up the child to/from the Nursery during the adaptation week is asked for full availability (in case the child needs to be picked up earlier).

1 Day (Monday)
child is at the Nursery together with a parent for about 1.5 hours, during this time children get to know the new environment, new carers and other kids
2 Day (Tuesday)
a 1.5 hour stay at the Nursery, the parent leaves the child alone at the Nursery for the first time for about 30-45 minutes, this indicates the reactions of the child to separation from the parent
3 Day (Wednesday)
child stays for about 3 hours at the Nursery, has first meal at the Nursery
4 Day (Thursday)
a 5 hour stay, child comes to the Nursery at about 10:00 o’clock, stays for soup and first sleeping time, parents come to pick the child up just after sleeping time
5 Day (Friday)
child is brought to the Nursery at about 10:00, stays for soup, sleeping time and lunch, parents pick up the child at about 15:00 o’clock

Adaptation week at our Nursery is free of charge.

Adaptation period – how might my child react?

A child that starts attending a Nursery at the beginning needs to cope with many difficulties. Adapting to a new place is a challenge, but most of the children get through this gently and successfully with the help and commitment of their parents. The cooperation between parents and teachers is extremely important to the adaptation process as well as the parents’ trust and determination. Putting a child in a Nursery is mostly a difficult decision that brings anxiety along. Parents might wonder if their children are well looked after and if they get enough attention and love. The difficulties of the parents grow from their inner doubts as well. The decision to put their kids in daycare is more of a sensible solution connected to the end of maternity leave. It rarely is connected to a wish of giving their child a good opportunity for his active development and socializing with other kids.
Parents have to remember that the separation process involves not only the child but also the mother. If she is ready to let her child explore the world, her child will also feel ready to do so. The little ones are in emotional synchronicity with their parents; they feel their anxiety and worries. If the mother that brings her child to a Nursery is worried and anxious, her child will surely feel the same way. This anxiety will prevent the child from exploring the new environment and will cause trouble in the adaptation of the child.

What are the difficulties of the adaptation period?

  1. Difficulties in separation from the parent (mother).
  2. Difficulties caused by the new environment and its rules.
  3. Difficulties connected to forming new relations – introduction to social life and functioning in a social group.


Children’s separation anxiety starts to occur in their 7th month and continues until the first school year. It is a perfectly normal reaction, and it is experienced by every child with no exceptions. Attending a Nursery is sometimes the first separation experience for the child, other children might have already gain separation experience by staying with a grandparent or a babysitter. Children who have been separated from their parents before seem to have fewer problems during the adaptation period at the Nursery.

What should parents do and how should they react while leaving their child at the Nursery?

Parents while leaving their child at the Nursery should act naturally and efficiently in order not to extend the separation. On the other hand, they should not do leave in a hurry so that the child feels safe at the new place. Children for sure will indicate their dissatisfaction for their parents’ departure by crying, but prolonging the separation results in a higher level of anxiety of the child. The kids are aware of the fact that their crying keeps their parents next to them longer. Parents need to give a chance to the teachers to comfort the children during the separation so that they can gain their trust. This will speed up the formation of new relations.

"Why does my child cry when I am leaving the Nursery?"

Very often parents who leave their child crying at the Nursery imagine that they are hurting him/her by doing so. The child will certainly at the beginning show his/her dissatisfaction towards the new situation and changes by crying. However, it doesn't mean that he or she will not adapt successfully to the new environment. Often children who cry while their parents leave start to play and have fun just after the door is closed. Even an adult has difficulties entering a new environment; this is related to the lack of sense of security. Adults have the opportunity to express their anxiety and know how to cope with the new situation. For a child the only possible way to express his/her anxiety is by crying. During the first days children mostly focus on the separation from mummy and daddy; for this reason, parents should not think that the cry of their child means that they dislike the Nursery.

„Why does my child start crying when she/he sees me at the door at pick up time?"

Frequently a child during the day does not show any negative emotions at the Nursery, but they start crying as soon as they see their mummy or daddy when she/he comes to pick them up. It is a common reaction. Children that are emotionally stronger and more developed do not cry during the day at the Nursery. They focus on exploring the new environment and new routines in order to adapt sooner. Crying at the moment of reunion with the parents indicates that the child was able to postpone the negative emotions for “later” – in order to share them with the parent. These children who spend their time exploring the new place are able to quickly understand their surrounding environment gaining a sense of security. This kind of reaction is emotionally more mature and results in a faster adaptation to the Nursery.


Although the Nursery’s environment is very friendly to the child it might also sometimes be a challenge and difficult for him/her. However, all children have the need for routines and order, that is why these challenges can quickly be overcome. Each child has her/his own routines concerning hygiene, eating, sleeping etc. Being at a Nursery stimulates children’s independence, gives an opportunity to watch other children and what is most important – provides order and repetition of all the daily routines. This results in gaining a sense of security.
Children that do not have fixed times and hours of feeding, sleeping or playing at home, do not have any problems in accepting the Nursery’s routines. Often these children adapt much quicker. The sense of security is gained fast thanks to the order provided by the Nursery’s routines.


Entering a peer group and introduction to forming relations is another challenge of the Nursery to a child. Kids must deal with their „egoism” that is typical of small children. With time they learn that, for instance, toys are not only for them, but that they can be shared with others. They also need to learn to wait for their turn (for example, while waiting to wash their hands, receiving their crayons to paint etc).
Children without siblings have the chance to overcome difficult emotions like jealousy about the adults’ attention. They learn how to help others as well. Being in a group is the first training of social skills and an opportunity to get to know the rules of how to function in a social group. During this time children with the support of the Nursery adults have the chance to overcome all the difficult emotions that accompany the adaptation period.

Barbara Kulaç

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