Child adaptation in preschool is a challenge that evokes many emotions and concerns for both parents and children. Many myths have arisen around this process, often leading to unnecessary stress and misguided decisions. In the second part of our article, we debunk two popular myths about preschool adaptation: the necessity of immediately leaving the child for the whole day and the belief that "nursery" children easily adapt to preschool. Learn how the adaptation process really works and how to support your child to make the new preschool adventure as positive as possible.


Myth 1: It’s best to leave the child for the whole day right away without gradually increasing the time spent in preschool because gradual extension won't work.

Fact: If a child has difficulties adjusting to the new situation from the start, gradually increasing the time spent in preschool can significantly ease the adaptation process.


The reality of gradual adaptation

Although many parents fear that gradually extending the time their child spends in preschool might have the opposite effect, practice shows that it is an effective method. Even though the preschool application form states the hours the child will be attending, parents have the flexibility to pick up their child earlier, especially at the beginning of their preschool journey. It’s important to inform the group teacher about such changes.


Diverse reactions of children to preschool

Children react differently to preschool:



Gradual extension of stay

If a child struggles with adaptation for several weeks, it may be beneficial to gradually extend their stay in preschool. Often, children who have the chance to gradually familiarize themselves with the new environment eventually want to stay longer, participate in nap time, and other activities. It’s important to remember that each child is different and may react differently to changes.


Schedule for gradual extension

Parents often choose to pick up their child right after lunch before nap time. Often, grandparents pick up the child at these times as parents are at work. Over time, when the child adapts well and expresses a desire to stay longer, parents can gradually extend the time spent in preschool until after afternoon tea or until the end of the preschool day.


Myth 2: "Nursery" children won’t undergo adaptation in preschool because they are already used to attending an institution.

Fact: All children, even those coming to preschool after attending nursery, will undergo an adaptation process because it’s a completely new place, with new people and surroundings.


Reality of nursery children adapting to preschool

The fact is that every child, regardless of previous experiences, will need to adapt to the new place. Adaptation is a natural process of adjusting to a new environment that requires time and support.


Why adaptation is necessary?

Switching from nursery to preschool means:

Preschool is a different setting than nursery. The child needs to get acquainted with new rooms, the playground, and new rules and rituals.

The child is under the care of new teachers, which can cause stress and uncertainty.

Preschool means new children with whom the child needs to build relationships, which can be challenging.


Preschool often has different requirements than nursery, which may require the child to adapt to new activities and learning forms.


Does nursery prepare for preschool?

Adaptation of a child who attended nursery may be easier because:

The child is already familiar with life in a peer group and the principles of social interaction.

The child has experience with being separated from parents for extended periods, which can ease morning goodbyes in preschool.

The child is used to participating in organized activities, which can help them accept preschool activities.


Different adaptation scenarios

However, adaptation of "nursery" children doesn’t always go smoothly. It depends on:

If the child had positive experiences in nursery, they are more likely to adapt easily to preschool.

Each child is different and may react differently to new situations. Even children accustomed to care institutions may need time to acclimate to the new place.


Support in adaptation

To help a child adapt to preschool, it’s worth:

Just like with children who have never attended an institution, gradually extending the time spent in preschool can be helpful.

Before starting preschool, talk to the child about the new place, explain what to expect, and what the new rules will be.

Give the child time to adapt, show understanding, and support during difficult moments.

Regular contact with teachers can help monitor the child's progress and adjust support to their needs.


Adaptation to preschool, regardless of whether the child previously attended nursery, is a process requiring time, patience, and support. Understanding each child’s individual needs and adaptation pace is key to ensuring a safe and comfortable transition to the new stage of preschool life.


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