Practical tip when it comes to settling in a new international group


Preparation: Collect information to give you an overview (age, gender, nationality, languages). Contact the families in advance: greet the families via e-mail, send invitations, make first phone calls, invite parents to an introductory parent evening to clarify initial questions, to take care of the worries and to discuss organizational matters.  

Let the parents prepare: talk at home about starting kindergarten, read children's books about starting kindergarten, be in the right mood, create rituals, collect everything the child needs for the kindergarten, give the child support with a familiar item from home, stop breastfeeding, etc.

Plan your settling ins - but stay flexible: divide the settling in among the professionals. Consider the language. Families who are familiar with the most commonly spoken language of the region may initially feel more accepted by staff speaking/understanding the same. Similarly, as English is typically the second language of many international Kindergartens, English-speaking families may feel more comfortable/accepted by English-speaking staff, simply because it makes communication easier. Sometimes the child is attracted to another educator, which is okay. These natural sympathies can simplify the settling in and should be considered if possible. 

Organize your settling in time - but, again, stay flexible: settling in is a very intense process and requires your full attention. Make sure that each educator has only one child to settle in at the beginning. Schedule the settling ins throughout the day (for example 3 children 9:00, 10:30, 14:00).

Room Design: Create opportunities for retreat, provide game stimuli, design a drear for the children with name, symbol and photo in advance (so the families feel welcome, are able to orientate themselves and gain a sense of belonging), look at the room from the height of a child.