The First Days at a New Daycare
The attachment to their mother or father is of critical importance for the child’s wellbeing and development. When settling into a nursery, preschool or kindergarten, that bond needs to be respected so that the child can transition safely and without too much mental stress. To make the transition as smooth as possible, Sprouts and many German Kindergarten follow the Munich Model (“Münchener Eingewöhnungsmodell”). The goal: the child understands that the mother comes back and develops an emotional bond to a dedicated teacher.
The Munich Model was developed in response to the research of Prof. E. Beller at the Freien Universität Berlin that showed that children who did not follow a soft transition process were 4 times as likely to get sick. Others experienced development delays.
Guidelines of the Munich Model at Sprouts:
- The core principle of the model is that the child is accompanied by the mother (or other caregivers), during the first 10 days.
- In the first 3 days of that period, the mother and child time spend all the time together at the kindergarten and then go home together (first day one hour, then two, then four). The mother doesn’t join the play but sits aside doing something else.
- On day 4 the child is left alone with the teachers for the first time, usually only for a few minutes at a time. Mom and child go home together.
- On days 5-10 the mother still spends time at the kindergarten but starts to leave more often. First, only for 15 minutes. Later for an hour or more, leaving for a coffee.
- Once the child has built a bond with the dedicated teacher, the child can be left with the teachers for an entire day. On average it takes 10 days.
- During Settling In, children stay only until lunch. There is no nap time.
How to support the Process:
- The mother (or caregiver) should say clearly “Goodbye” through a hug or kiss when she leaves, so the child understands that they are with the teachers now.
- If the child cannot stop crying it shall be reunited with the mother
- The same dedicated teacher is present throughout the entire process
- The child may want to bring a favorite toy or doll from home.
Signs that the Transition has worked:
- The child cries only a short period of time when left alone at school.
- The child has built a healthy relationship with a dedicated teacher.
- At the end of the period, the child wants to come to sprouts
Watch the Sprouts Video about Attachment Theory: