EastSide Early Years Network has developed and produced picture books to help ease the transition for children and parents between pre-school and Nursery. The first four books feature four local Nursery Schools – Elmgrove, St. Matthews, Ravenscroft and McArthur.

Each picture book features photographs of the inside of the Nursery with a charming little mouse character explaining what the children will see and do when they get there.

The content was created by staff at pre-school and nurseries, working together to provide information to  address any fears or uncertainties children might have about this big step up.

Copies of the books are being provided to parents of children starting Nursery in September, so that they can chat about what is to come: new friends to be made, new things to play with and new adventures ahead.

EastSide Learning has been able to support the development of the booklets through funding received from The Executive Office Urban Village Initiative and we are hoping to roll this out to more include more Nurseries for next year.  

Parents have been thrilled with the booklets:  Amy from Bloomfield Community Playgroup said:

“We got our booklet for Elmgrove Nursery, it is really colourful and Bella has really enjoyed talking about the pictures and asking questions already. I think this will really help both of us face our fears about the next stage’

East Belfast Sure Start has been delighted to be able to help inform these booklets which will contribute to making what can be a very stressful time for children and parents so much easier. It is really important for pre-school staff to help prepare families for what can be a big change in routine for them. Elizabeth Dalton, Early-Years Co-ordinator: East Belfast Sure Start

Kelly Mc Cambley, Nursery Teacher in Elmgrove Nursery School, commented: “Coming to Nursery can be a really anxious time for children and parents and it has been great to work with colleagues in the Early Years Network to produce what we think is a lovely booklet about Elmgrove Nursery and all the exciting opportunities they will have when they join us’