Going back to school or nursery

Milestones by three to five years old

School and nursery will look different for most children when they return. You can help your child to prepare for the transition by staying positive. Explain that things will be different but that they will still be able to enjoy many of the things they did before.

Encourage your little one to talk about how they are feeling using the conversations starters below, practise routines such as washing hands and ensure they know that this is really important.

Watch the How to Wash Your Hands song from the NHS.

Things to say

  • Tell me the names of some of the children you might see when you go back to school or nursery?
  • What do you enjoy talking to other children and teachers about?
  • What are you most excited about?

If you don’t think a favourite toy will be at the setting due to hygiene standards, think of other things to look forward to.

Things to do

  • Practise routines and make sure your child knows how important it is to wash your hands
  • Encourage your child to go to sleep and wake up at a regular time
  • Avoid snacking and get back to your usual meal times
  • Talk to your child about the staff and children in their bubble
  • Share any information you have about how things will work when they return, such as saying goodbye at the door rather than you coming inside the setting

Share a story together

Talking about worries or problems can help your child feel better. Sometimes they find this easier with a book.

Take a look at our Happpiness and wellbeing book list.