Starting preschool is a huge milestone for both children and parents. Here are some handy tips for preparing your child for their first day…
Pick a preschool you trust
You are leaving your precious child under the care of a team of preschool teachers – be sure you trust them!
Talk to your child about starting preschool
Talk your child through what the first day of preschool will be like, including the many fun things they will be doing at preschool, for example playing in the playground. Mentally prepare them for this new and exciting experience.
Take your child to visit the preschool
This will allow your child to become familiar with the surroundings, and maybe even a few faces around the preschool. At Shaws Preschool, we encourage new children to come and play in the playground to familiarise them with the environment.
Talk to the Principal and teachers about your child
Before your child starts preschool, or at least on the first day, talk to the Principal and teachers about your child. Don’t forget to include anything special about your child, for example the words your child uses to go to the toilet, or when they are hungry. Also include information about your child’s likes and dislikes.
Pack something familiar in your child’s bag
This will make the transition from home to school a little easier with something that can comfort them. It can be anything from a favourite toy, to a little pillow.
The preschool should provide you with feedback with how your child is doing. However don’t forget to give the school feedback too! It is a new experience so share how your child is at home in the first few days and how he or she is coping, be it positive or negative.
Be prepared for tears
Separation anxiety is normal for children, so do be prepared for tears when you leave your child. At Shaws Preschool, parents usually leave two or three days after the child starts preschool (however this is not always the case as each child settles in differently). What is important is that the teachers are able to settle your child within a few minutes after you leave.
Parents have to be prepared for the separation too!
A child starting preschool is a new experience for parents too! So don’t forget to prepare yourselves too. Do prepare yourselves for the separation anxiety, and remember to stay positive so your child does not pick up on your anxiety. Do reassure your child that you will be back to him or her up and the end of the day. When saying goodbye, do it quickly. Don’t linger or play peek-a-boo as this will only make the separation a lot harder for your child. Trust the Principal and teachers – they have years of experience settling in hundreds of children. If you have dropped off your child and are anxious about how they are doing, pick up the phone and call us anytime. We will give you an on-the-spot update of how your child is doing.
Starting preschool is a new and exciting experience. Talk to our Principals or teachers at any time if you are unsure. And don’t forget to enjoy the experience while you can… because in no time, it will be preschool graduation!
“You’re off to great places. Today is your first day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!” – Dr Seuss