Helping your child settle into preschool...
Starting or resuming preschool can be an emotional experience for both you and your child.
Children can often experience some difficulty settling into a new environment, particularly if they find it hard to separate from family or caregivers.
As adults, we need to recognise and accept the strong emotions that separation arouses in children. A child's feelings are similar to those of an adult on encountering new situations.
Some children may become angry, hit and cry, others may scream, others may feel sick or throw themselves on the floor. Sometimes children refuse to enter the building and may say, "Don't leave me", or "I don't want to stay" or "I want to go home". Protest is a healthy response to separation.
Prepare your child for separation
· Talk about preschool with your child and let them know that you are happy and confident that they will have a good time at Apples & Honey Preschool and will be well cared for. · Visit Apples & Honey Preschool prior to your child commencing, during orientation. You will be able to meet the educators and become familiar with our centre's program. You can then explain to your child what happens at preschool. · Say ‘goodbye’ confidently and reassure them when you leave that you (or someone else) will be back later to collect them. "Goodbyes" build trust and strengthen your child's belief that their parent/s or carers will return. Tell your child when you are leaving, for example, "I'll be going when you've put your bag in your locker." Always follow through with action. · Be consistent with your arrival and departure times during their first few weeks. This will help to establish a predictable routine for your child and develop feels of trust and security.
Comfort them · Ask your child if they would like to take their favourite toy or book to preschool.
· Find a preferred staff member that your child can be left with when you drop them off for the day.
· Spend some time settling your child into a favourite activity before you leave.
· Let us know what comforts your child.
· Show empathy – in the morning when you see your child upset on the way to preschool, talk to them. Ask them to share their feelings with you. Listen to them and tell them what they are feeling is normal and it’s a big step for them as they are growing up. · Where possible, organise play dates with friends from preschool. This will help your child be more comfortable with the other children at preschool.
· For your peace of mind, it can be helpful to call preschool later in the day, to see how your child settled. Children who become very upset when they are left, often settle quickly and happily once the actual separation is over. You are welcome to contact Apples & Honey Preschool throughout the day on 9412 4839.
· You may also want to speak to our educators about how you can better support your child’s transition.
Reconnecting with your child on your return
When you collect your child from Apples & Honey Preschool, it's suggested that you give them your undivided attention and ask them some questions about their day.
· Ask them about their favourite activities of the day.
· Talk to them about the friends they have made. Ask them to name a few children who they are friendly with and spent time with.
· Talk to them about their favourite educator and what they like about them.
· Ask them if their educator read them any story, which one it was, and what they liked about it.
Our door is always open
We invite you to discuss any concerns or queries you may have and welcome your suggestions.
Eventually any anxiety or confusion your child has will settle and the unfamiliar will become familiar. Your child will soon begin to thoroughly enjoy the adventures of their early education environment at Apples & Honey Preschool and may not want to go home!
Apples & Honey Preschool Tel: 9412 4839 Email: [email protected]