Early Years: Anxiety due to communication in busy, unpredictable environments

Suggested strategies and links.

Strategies and approaches:

  • Prepare the child for change of activity or routine, e.g. use of visual resources and objects of reference.
  • Organise small group/1 to 1 tasks and activities to be available if needed.
  • Ensure that there is a calm learning environment.
  • Provide access to a haven/low arousal space when needed.
  • Ensure clear communication of expectations.
  • Enable adults to be available to support children emotions eg, the use of feelings area/sensory corner. 
  • Provide emotional language. When the child is calm, name their emotions and those of others in a natural way.
  • Use a visual timetable in your provision and make sure it is used to prepare children for changes in your regular routine. Make sure it is used consistently, referred to regularly and updated after each activity is finished.
  • Ensure staff monitor key transition points e.g. drop-off/pick-up, snack/ lunchtime, visitors and changes to routines with strategies to reduce anxiety.
  • Use STAR Observations to see if there is a trigger to any changes of behaviour.