One of the things to do is to “bring the child on a tour of the pre-school.” How will this help the child, and what can parents do at the tour to help ease him into the pre-school?
Visiting your child’s first preschool classroom a few times before school starts can also ease the entrance into unfamiliar territory. This offers the opportunity to not only meet your child’s teacher and ask about routines and common activities, but to then introduce some of those routines and activities at home. While you’re in the classroom, let your child explore and observe the class and choose whether to interact with other kids. The idea is to familiarise your child with the classroom, lunch area, bathroom and to let him/ her get comfortable.
The more familiar your child is with the preschool staff and the environment, the easier it will be for your child to settle into the preschool. If possible, make a time to visit preschool during school hours. Parents/carers can observe the preschool in operation and have the opportunity to meet the staff, ask questions and discuss any concerns.
Your child will have an opportunity to mix with other children, encourage positive social interaction without being too pushy. Allow time for your child to socialize and enjoy the relationship with peers.
Involve your child, talk positively of what the children are doing and especially highlight things that interest your child. Talk about how much your child will learn with the new teachers. If you are positive about the school, your child will too.
While acknowledging this important step your child is taking and providing support, too much emphasis on the change could make any anxiety worse. Young kids can pick up on their parents’ nonverbal cues. When parents feel guilty or worried about leaving their child at school, the kids will probably sense that.
The more calm and assured you are about your choice to send your child to preschool, the more confident your child will be. When you enter the classroom on the first day, calmly reintroduce the teacher to your child, then step back to allow the teacher to begin forming a relationship with your child. Your endorsement of the teacher will show your child that he or she will be happy and safe in the teacher’s care.
Curriculum and Programme Manager
NTUC First Campus Co-operative Limited