Six tips to help your child settle in at preschool
The first few days and weeks at an early childhood centre is often the hardest for both Mum and little one but the situation does improve as he or she gets to know the other children and the teachers.
Preparation is important: Go for at least three or four familiarisation visits before your child starts officially. On at least one or two of these visits leave your child there for an hour or two without you.
If your child is having difficulty adjusting to kindy or preschool, here are a few ideas that might help:
- Starting a reward chart for staying for the whole day by herself
- Making a booklet about your child's time there - include photos of you dropping him off, of him participating in activities he enjoys at preschool, and then of you picking him up again, to reinforce the idea that you will come back to get him once the session is finished
- Taking note of other children your child plays with at kindy or talks about at home and encouraging him to build relationships
- If you have concerns about your child's settling, be sure to talk to the teachers who look after him - preschool is a whole new adventure for your child, and they are experienced in helping children settle in.
- When it comes time to leave, try very hard not to get emotional yourself. If tears threaten, pass your child to the nearest teacher and leave, saying you’ll be back later to pick him up.
- Over time, your child will develop an attachment to one or two teachers so try to get your child settled with one of these teachers before you leave for the day.