For any parent, waving off your child on their first day of school is both a joyous and an emotional day. To make you, and them, feel as comfortable and confident as possible approaching this milestone, it’s helpful to prepare as much as you can.
Stepping Stone (SA) Childcare and Early Development Centres can really help to prepare your child in advance of the big move. Attending a centre can help to lay the foundations for their education as well as familiarising them with the routine of an educational establishment, and the formalities and relationships within them.
Developing Key Skills
- Social / Emotional: These are the absolute essentials in any child’s development. Interacting with other children and adults from a young age encourages the development of emotional intelligence and the ability to self regulate. Nurturing this skill set provides your child with the ability to understand negotiation and to recognise emotions.
- Early Literacy and Numeracy: The first five years of a child’s life (before they even begin primary school) are an ideal time to develop the building blocks of literacy and numeracy skills. With Stepping Stone (SA) Childcare & Early Development Centres and alongside parental interaction, children can engage with books, build vocabulary, start to count and develop their imagination with the guidance of highly qualified educators.
- Exploration and Play: Children should constantly be encouraged to play and to explore the world. An inquisitive mind is essential for starting school and will allow them to reach their potential through curiosity and exploration. Stepping Stone (SA) Childcare & Early Development Centres will be able to stimulate your child with games, creative play and endless opportunities to explore new ideas.
Top Tips for Making School Seem Less Scary
Many children find the concept of ‘big school’ scary and are reluctant to leave their familiar surroundings and venture out ‘alone’. However, there are a number of things that you can do to help ease the process and ensure your child has a positive approach to starting school.
- Encourage questions: Ask your child what they want to know about school. Suggest some questions yourself and have answers ready for any queries they may have. These questions could be about what they will be learning to where they will eat their lunch each day. Are you unsure of the answers yourself? Many schools now provide you with the opportunity to engage with your child’s teacher or meet on campus prior to their first day to answer any questions you may have.
- Introduce the routine: Establishing a routine will help your child to understand what they will be doing each day, how they will get to school, what they will wear and what they will be expected to do. Why not try walking to school, let them try on their school uniform or even practice packing their school bag of a morning. Getting your child familiar with their new daily routine is key.
- Meet other students: If you can, try to get in touch with some of the other families who will be starting school with your child. If possible, arrange a play date with one or a few of them in advance of the first day of school. Meeting them in a familiar environment will help your child feel reassured on day one when they see their faces again. For first time parents, sharing the experience with other families in the same position is a great way to put your mind at ease and discuss this exciting time in your child’s lives!
At Stepping Stone SA, we have had the pleasure of seeing many children off on their way to primary school – some we have cared for from 3 months old!
Our educators are prepared with the tools to aid your child in smoothly transitioning from a centre environment to primary school, and are always available to discuss some ways in which you can ready your little one for their big first day. Contact us today for more information.