Having had over 30 years of experience in the Early Childhood Industry, I can appreciate how hard it can be at times to help your child adjust to being in care. It is not uncommon for children who are particularly attached to their parent’s to experience anxieties in transitioning. During my years I have found the most effective way to properly prepare your child for Kindy is to create a plan from the very beginning.
Setting up a plan to transition your child into Childcare and Kindergarten:
- Visit the centre to get familiar with the surrounds – This involves visits to the childcare centre for both you and your child to get familiar with the general environment, the staff and the children. I would suggest at least two visits with both of you before the initial commencement.
- Create a routine and stick to it- Drop off and collect your child around the same time every day. When you arrive, create a basic routine of activities and tasks. Such as, unpacking their bag, reading a book or a play for 10 minutes (with a timer). When it comes time to leave, say your farewells, reassure them that they will have a lovely day and make your departure. Be prepared for your child, you and probably the Director to cry – your child loves you and will miss you. I reassure you, it will get better.
- Work with your child’s Educators – Work with your Childcare Educators, it may seem like a good idea to stay longer during the day, in my experience, however, I have often found that it sets the child’s expectations to believe that you will be there every time. It doesn’t allow the Educators to properly bond with your child and in many cases, I have found this to be more distressing and delay the transition.
Creating and following a set plan and routine is the most effective way of setting your child up for success. The children build confidence, they know what to prepare for and creates less anxiety.
If you have any concerns when it comes to transitioning your child into Kindergarten I would encourage you to reach out early. Build a relationship with our Kindergarten early on, our friendly educators at Freshwater Christian College would love to help you in any way possible.