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Settling Your Child into the Preschool Environment 

 

The introduction into preschool can be hard for children and parents. Children’s welfare and happiness are the priority for staff when welcoming new children to the preschool and when assisting the family to settle into the preschool environment. 

 

The following outlines some helpful hints for parents on settling their child into the preschool environment:-

 Make sure you familiarise your child with the environment and the people in the environment (children and adults) by coming in for visits (orientation held in November) before commencement.

If your child is unsettled, we encourage you to stay if this eases your child’s anxiety.

Interactions between staff and parents or staff and other children can produce positive role models and be reassuring. This experience can help to establish trust in an unfamiliar setting.

 Try to talk at home about preschool. Mention the names of the staff and other children. Talk about the things the child will be able to do at preschool that are fun and enjoyable.

Talk to the teachers about your child, for example, what they like to do, their likes and dislikes and so on. This helps teachers to get to know your child.

It sometimes helps to establish a routine when leaving. For example, giving your child a cuddle and giving them to a staff member or sitting down with them for a short play or reading a book together then leaving

• Expose your child to many different people, situations, and environments.

• Prepare your child by talking about the new environment.

• Use a visual timetable to talk about the daily events

• Be patient, it takes time to get used to new environment and it will depend on the individual child and their previous experiences in separating from you.

 

To help with saying goodbyes at parting:

• Don’t forget to say goodbye, it is best not to just leave unnoticed.

• Ensure you explain to your child you will come back later to pick them up.

• Establish a routine where before leaving you do something, such as give each other a kiss.

• Distract the child with favourite toys and activities or ask the child’s teacher to become involved. There may be a teacher your child would feel most comfortable with.

• Stay calm and be firm. You can leave once you’ve said goodbye. Don’t panic. Your child is very likely to settle when you leave.

It is important to remember that separation anxiety might increase at certain times of changes, such as birth of a sibling, moving houses, or divorce. Also, when you are stressed yourself about something, your child might pick up your emotions and will display separation anxiety as a reaction to not knowing what is happening with you. Children feel calmer when you are in control. At those times, children might “regress” and would need more temporary support in tolerating separation from you.

 

Hints for Birthdays:- Children love to celebrate their birthdays with their friends at preschool. It is a great idea to bring mini cupcakes for the children, they are a great size for the children to eat and cupcakes mean no need for staff to be cutting cakes. Please remember one very important rule and that is NO peanuts or nut products to be used. To give you an idea of numbers, our rooms hold up to 22 children in the Wombat room and up to 30 in the Possum room.