First Day of Childcare: Building Confidence for A Smooth Transition
Preschoolers have a lot of things on their minds. The first day of childcare probably is not one of them. They are too busy enjoying playtime with their peers and building valuable social skills to think that far ahead in their young lives. Even if preschoolers are not thinking about this next stage, their parents are likely to be already well-invested in the process. They want to ensure their little ones have the tools they need for a smooth transition into kindy. Here are some things parents can do to help ensure their children have the confidence they need to enter the next stage.
Teach age-appropriate independence
A good preschool or long daycare should include a
school-readiness component that helps little ones learn – and practice – age-appropriate independence. Parents can help with confidence-building by giving their children more responsibility at home. Allow them to pick out their own clothing and dress for the day (even if the clothes do not exactly pair well). Encourage them to use the bathroom without help and to wash their hands afterwards. Give them some small chores they can complete on their own, like feeding the family pet or organising the toys in their rooms.
Develop and follow routines
Going to spend the day at a childcare centre is all about routines. Children who attend long daycare or preschool already will be familiar with the daily routines established at those programs. Parents can establish morning routines at home, to mimic those their children will follow once they start kindy. Children should get up, get dressed, and have their breakfasts at the same time each day to help prepare.
Encourage a growth mindset
Making comparisons with peers can be devastating and lead children down the path toward self-criticism. Encouraging a
growth mindset can help children develop a healthy attitude toward their achievements. An important component of a growth mindset is to engage in self-talk that gently pushes children toward success rather than making them feel badly they may not do all the same things their peers can do. Rewarding effort rather than achievement also is a critical part of positive self-talk.
Engage in meaningful activities
Children love to learn and can be eager to help with meaningful activities when asked. Teaching children the practical skills they need to succeed in kindy can help ease the transition. Using fun, play-based methods like threading beads and dressing their favourite dolls or stuffed animals can help children learn fine motor skills and coordination. Building a tower together or assembling a DIY bowling alley are great ways to teach children how to take turns. A game like Simon Says helps them hone their listening skills.
Acknowledge their feelings
Children follow their parents’ lead. A few weeks before school begins, talk positively about going to childcare and ask children how they feel about it. Some children may be fearful of going to school whilst others cannot wait. Whatever they feel, take time to reassure them their feelings are valid and give them age-appropriate strategies for coping.
Choosing a quality childcare centre
Creative Childcare centres are family friendly play spaces. To learn more about our centres,
call 1300 002 929 or
book a tour online.