07 November 2020
Preparing Your Child for Preschool
Sending your child to preschool in Singapore is a significant milestone in their educational journey and overall development. While the transition can be both challenging and exciting, proactive preparation can help ease the process, build your child’s confidence, and lay a foundation for a successful preschool experience.
In this blog, we will explore practical tips and strategies to help you prepare your child for preschool while addressing common challenges along the way.
How to Prepare Your Child for Infant Care
Infant care centres in Singapore cater to children aged 2 to 18 months old and are designed to meet the unique needs of babies and toddlers. They provide a safe and nurturing environment where infants can grow, learn, and develop under the watchful eyes of trained caregivers. Sending your young child to an infant care centre may seem daunting at first, but with the right preparation, you can ensure a smooth transition and peace of mind for both you and your child.
Here is a list of essentials to pack:
- Milk bottle
Ensure you pack your child’s milk bottle with either breastmilk or formula milk, depending on your child’s feeding needs. Label the bottle with your child’s name.
- Water bottle
Pack a water bottle for your child if they have started to drink water. Ensure the bottle is labelled with your child’s name too.
- Breastmilk or formula milk
If your child is still breastfeeding, pack expressed breastmilk in labelled bags and store them in a cooler bag with ice packs to maintain the right temperature. If your child is on formula, make sure you provide enough pre-measured formula for the day.
- Baby food
If your child has started eating solid foods, prepare their meals in labelled containers. Include utensils such as a spoon and fork if required. Make sure to adhere to any dietary restrictions or preferences your child may have.
- Extra diapers
Pack extra diapers to last the entire day. The number of diapers you pack may vary depending on how often they need changing, but a rule of thumb is to always include one or two additional diapers to prepare for unexpected changes in your child’s routine or any unforeseen circumstances.
- Extra clothes
Include a change of clothes for your child in case of spills, accidents, or unexpected weather changes. Be sure to pack items such as pyjamas, tops, and bottoms, depending on the centre’s guidelines.
How to Prepare Your Child for Nursery Or Kindergarten
The transition to nursery or kindergarten, catered to children aged 18 months to below 7 years old, is an important aspect of a child’s early education and development. It is a time when children begin to explore the world outside of their homes and take their first steps toward becoming independent learners. To help your child make a smooth and positive transition, here are some tips for preparing them:
- Start talking about preschool early
Introduce the concept of preschool to your child and highlight the fun activities they will engage in. Discuss how some of the best preschools in Singapore can be exciting places to learn, make new friends, and explore the world around them.
- Read books or watch videos about preschool
Incorporate age-appropriate books or videos that depict positive experiences in preschool settings. This can help familiarise your child with the environment, routines, and the idea of being away from home.
- Encourage independence
Support your child’s growing independence by encouraging them to do things for themselves, such as dressing, eating, and using the toilet. This fosters their confidence and prepares them for the self-care tasks they will encounter at preschool.
- Visit the preschool beforehand
Arrange a visit to the preschool before your child starts attending. This allows them to become more comfortable and familiar with the surroundings, meet the teachers, and observe other children engaged in activities.
- Establish a routine
Establishing a predictable daily routine helps children feel secure and prepared. Create a schedule that aligns with preschool timings, including consistent wake-up times, meals, playtime, and bedtime.
- Share important information
Provide your child with basic information such as pick-up times and relevant phone numbers. This helps them understand the structure of their day and provides reassurance for a smooth transition.
- Speak to the teachers beforehand
Prior to your child’s first day, take the opportunity to communicate with the preschool teachers. Share any special needs your child may have, discuss any concerns or anxieties you may have, and collaborate on strategies to support your child’s transition.
- Pack a comfort toy
Allow your child to bring a familiar object, like a stuffed animal or blanket, to provide comfort and familiarity in the new preschool environment.
- Practise being apart
Gradually introduce short periods of separation from your child before they start preschool. This can be done by leaving them in the care of a trusted family member or friend, helping them adjust to the idea of being away from you.
- Stay calm and positive
Your child will sense your emotions, so it is important to remain calm. This will help reassure them and create a positive association with their new learning environment.
Common Challenges Your Child May Face In Preschool
- Separation anxiety
Many children experience separation anxiety when starting preschool in Singapore. It is normal and temporary. Reassure your child that you will return and validate their emotions after school.
- Behavioural problems
Adjusting to a new environment can cause behavioural changes such as throwing tantrums or exhibiting moodiness. Be patient and understanding, as your child adapts to the preschool routine and expectations.
- Difficulty making friends
Shyness or social anxiety may hinder some children from making friends initially. As a parent, encourage social interactions by planning playdates and providing guidance on initiating conversations and sharing.
Tips for Navigating Common Challenges
- Talk to your child about their feelings
Encourage open communication and let your child express their fears or concerns. Assure them that their feelings are valid and offer comfort and support.
- Help your child develop coping skills
Teach your child relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or visualisation, to manage anxiety or distressing emotions when you are not able to be there with them in school.
- Be patient and understanding
Remember that adjusting to new situations takes time. Stay supportive and offer encouragement and rewards as your child navigates their preschool journey.
Additional Tips for Parents With Children Attending Preschool
- Get involved
Participate in school activities, attend parent-teacher meetings, and engage with the teachers and staff. This involvement fosters a strong partnership and allows you to stay informed about your child’s progress in preschool.
- Encourage daily conversations about preschool
Ask your child about their day at preschool, allowing them to share their experiences. This helps establish a connection between home and school while providing an opportunity to address any concerns.
- Be a pillar of support
Offer your love, support, and reassurance to foster confidence and resilience in your child.
Smooth Transitions, Happy Beginnings
Preparing your child for preschool in Singapore is a crucial step in their educational journey. With proper support, most children can adjust successfully to preschool life.
Embrace this milestone with enthusiasm and optimism with us, knowing that you are laying the foundation for a bright future filled with growth, learning, and new friendships.
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