The Settling in according to the Berlin model

The settling in period at the infant daycare section or kindergarten is an extremely exciting and important time for all those involved. For the children, it may well be the first time they spend the day with other people. For the families, it is often the first time they are separated from their children. For the nursery school teachers, it is a time to get to know the new children and their families.

Children will only learn and make progress if they feel comfortable. The children’s well-being is therefore our top priority at our kindergarten. Our main goal is for the children’s transition to daycare or kindergarten to be free from anxiety.

The settling in period at our daycare facilities is organised in three stages according to the Berlin model:

The foundation stage

One of the parents is present in a passive way, playing with the child and speaking to them as little as possible. The nursery school teacher makes the effort to establish active contact with the child, taking over the role of playing and speaking partner. The first short separation between the parent and child takes place around the fourth day, sometimes sooner, depending on how well the child is settling in.

The stabilisation stage

The parent still maintains a passive presence in the daycare facilities. However, the nursery school teacher is the child’s active playing partner and takes over all the care and feeding activities. The separation period from the parent is extended if the child allows it.

The closing stage

The parent is no longer present in the daycare facilities but can be contacted by phone at any time. The settling in period is completed as soon as the child has accepted the nursery school teacher as a reliable source of comfort on a lasting basis.

The transition from infant daycare to kindergarten (from around the age of 3) is accompanied by the nursery school teachers instead of by the parents.

Parents should set aside three to four weeks for the settling in period.

To ensure the success of the settling in period, a close and trusting partnership between the parents and nursery school teachers is very important. Parents should make a special effort to ensure they keep to individual arrangements with the kindergarten teachers.