Getting ready for the first day of Preschool

  • Dig out that introduction letter you got from us (generally a month before school) with details about classroom entrances, backpack, timetable, healthy lunches, school supply list, etc. and make sure you are organized in advance, so that you are not unduly stressed on the first few days. Make sure the back pack and lunch box you choose are easy to manage and think about the best clothes for your child to wear. That doesn’t mean their Sunday best. It means clothes your child can play in, without fear of paint splashes and clothes that are easy to manage when visiting the toilet.  Closed toe, easy to put on, shoes are always a must.
  • Talk to your child about preschool but resist the temptation of hyping it up too much as the child might be totally underwhelmed with the reality. ( We suggest visiting the library for some great first day books too) Refer to the teachers – who you’ve most likely already met – by their first names and tell your child about the other children, the painting, the play dough and the kind of activities you know that will interest them. Many children have already visited the preschool in advance of term start!
  • In the week before the start day, explain to your child that you or another loved one will be dropping and collecting them from preschool and how that will work. Tell your child the two things you, or your minder, will do while they are at preschool to give the child a sense of the short time involved, like going to the bank and preparing lunch. It’s not too long and not long too short – in fact just enough time to have fun before being collected!  It is okay to sound excited for your “work time” as should they…
  • On reaching the door each morning, smile and treat teacher like a friend. Relax and don’t fuss and let your child know that you’re confident that they can manage. Remember that your child is alert to the emotional messages you send out, so don’t panic and don’t let the child see you crying.
  • If your child is fine going in on the first day, just walk away and don’t look for problems where none exist. The majority of children will sail in, no problem. Treat yourself to a cup of coffee and a little treat – this is a big day for you too!
  • If your child does cry going in, follow the lead of the teacher. Often children who come in the door crying are okay and laughing five minutes later. Rest assured that your child is in kind, nurturing, and capable hands!
  • Make sure to return for pick up on time as children can fret when they see other children leave before them.
  • Don’t expect the teacher to give you detailed feedback in the first two weeks when the whole group is really settling in.
  • After the day, ask your child about the sand, the books, the “works/lessons” and the other children. If your questions are specific, you’ll get more information.

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