Starting preschool can be anything between really exciting and absolutely terrifying for a young child. Either way, it is an important milestone in your child’s life. To make sure your child has a positive transition into this new environment, here are a few tips on preparation.
Firstly, talk with your child about how they feel about starting preschool and what it is going to be like. Tell your child what will be expected of them, using positive language to make it sound exciting and not overwhelm them. Replacing put-downs like “That’s wrong” with positive wording as in “It would be better to…” also models the social skills they will need going into preschool. Going over basic rules and expectations of behaviour will help your child learn to treat their self and others with respect.
Familiarise your child with the preschool and its staff. Your child should have a chance to visit the preschool they will be attending beforehand and meet the staff. Being familiar with a setting makes it far easier for a child to feel confident in. It also makes it easier for staff to get to know your child and find out what works for them.
If possible, it would be great for the child to have some familiar faces of their own age as well. Before they officially become a preschooler, joining a group orientation will give them a chance to make some friends. Having other children to share the beginnings of preschool learning experience can make transition much smother.
How Parents can help their Children Adjust to Kindergarten?
Many children find it hard to adjust to kindergarten at first as they have to learn to adapt to new situations every day without a parent beside them. When helping your child adjust to preschool, communication is key. Asking questions about their day encourages them to open up about their worries and gain confidence with reassurance. When they come across a complication, promoting helpful thoughts and reinforcing “can-do” attitudes will stimulate development. Remember that a preschooler is enduring possibly the most rapid development in their life, as the NSW Government Preschool Handbook states. Preschool education introduces a range of problem solving skills that should be positively reinforced by parents and caregivers at home. With consistent affirmation, young children become less anxious about their new environments, can learn quickly and therefore can adjust faster. Give your child a chance to show you what they have learned at home as they will benefit from practicing.
Getting Ready for Preschool Checklist
- Make sure your child knows where they will be going and what they will be doing there.
- Talk to your child about how they feel entering preschool, answer questions and offer reassurance.
- Take your child to visit the kindergarten and introduce them to the staff.
- Explain the rules and expectations that the child will encounter.
- If you know other parents who are taking their child to the same school, try to arrange and opportunity for the children to meet.
- Make sure your child’s belongings have permanent labels on them. This includes clothes, shoes, bags and any toys or show and tell items etc that your child brings to preschool.
- Make sure they know basic hygiene practices, for example how to use the toilet and how to wash their hands properly.
- Teach them how to properly introduce themselves to staff and other preschoolers; giving their name and asking politely for theirs.
At The Berry Patch Preschool and Long Day Care Centre, your child will experience a positive and motivational preschool education. Enrol now to ensure a place in our friendly learning space where your child can develop essential life skills alongside other keen children. We provide quality preschool and child care in Kellyville Ridge, Rouse Hill Pemulwuy, Greystanes and Brighton Le Sands.