Tips for settling in to Preschool
“Learning outcomes are most likely to be achieved when early childhood educators work in partnership with families.”
– EYLF (p12)
Making the transition
There are a number of ways families can help to make the transition to preschool a positive one.
- Come in for orientation visits well before your start date. The number of visits will vary with each child’s personality and how experienced they are being outside home.
- Share positive feelings and attitudes with your child about their new step. Show them you are excited for them to be growing up and starting preschool.
- Encourage your child to be responsible for their belongings from the start. Help them to find their locker, place their lunch box on the trolley or in the fridge and put on their hat and sunscreen.
- Children are very capable and can feel a sense of achievement from taking on jobs.
- Start a routine to help make separation easier. Some families read stories together; others join in one or two activities with their child. Children who relate to time may be happy for parents to stay for 10 minutes, ½ hour or an hour before saying goodbye. Some children like to wave from a certain spot, have the car horn beeped, or hold an educator’s hand. The waving rock is one place many children find a good spot for fare welling families. Educators are happy to support you with this so please let us know how we can help.
- Families are encouraged to make the transition to preschool as gradual as their child needs. You are welcome to stay with your child while they adjust to their new surroundings. While you know your child best, educators have seen that sometimes a longer stay is not always better. For some people distress at the separating time is increased by “false starts” at leaving.
- Discuss with your child’s focus educator their likes, dislikes and needs. We value the information families’ share which helps us to personalise your child’s care and education.
“Educators, who are attuned to children’s thoughts and feelings, support the development of a strong sense of wellbeing.”
– EYLF (p12)
Discuss things that are important
Educators would like to provide your family with the best preschool experience possible. It will help them to do this if they know what is important for your family.
Please discuss with your child’s educator the things that are important to your family while at preschool.
- If you have any concerns please share them with the educators.
- We realise this is a big step for family members as well as for the children.
- It is natural that there are some tears as children and families adjust to preschool. Educators will try to help minimise any distress for both parents and children. Families are welcome to ring and find out how their child is going as often as they want. Educators will call families if their child is distressed and unable to be comforted.
- We would like to form a partnership with families focused on the well being, and education of your child. We realise that families are the first and most important educators of children and value your insights.
- Regular, open communication is the key to developing the mutual trust and respect needed for this partnership.
By sharing information between home and preschool, educators can get to know your child and best support their learning.
Please share information about:
- your child’s current play interests,
- topics they are discussing
- questions they are asking
- documentaries they have been interested in
- family outings and visitors
- family celebrations or special occasions
- Please pass on if there are any things that may impact on your child’s day. For example; a disturbed sleep, an upset or emotional start to the day, health issues or medication.
If you need to discuss confidential or more in depth matters, time can be arranged for this.
“Educators view culture and the context of family as central to children’s sense of being and belonging, and to success in lifelong learning.”
– EYLF (p16)