Before your child begins preschool
We are sure you will enjoy your time with us. Please read this information carefully. It will help you and your child make a smooth transition to preschool.
The first day of preschool is an important day for both you and your child.
Preparing your child for preschool is extremely important to ensure that anxiety is minimal.
The most important thing to remember is to:
BE POSITIVE !!!!!
Don't let your child hear anything negative. For example, some parents will often talk about how anxious they are about their child's first day. If your child hears how anxious you are then they are also going to be anxious. If you need to express your fears with educators or relatives its best if your child is not able to hear you.
Don't feel guilty. Many children will be very unsettled on their first day. This is normal. What we encourage parents to remember is that you have put your child into preschool for a specific reason whether it is to develop skills in certain areas, for social interaction with other children or for school readiness. Therefore you need not feel guilty if your child is having difficulties settling. If you are concerned please talk to the educators, we are here to help. Be patient, some children can take up to 6 weeks to settle in. Try to focus on the reasons you are sending your child to preschool and the long term benefit of having them settle more easily into formal schooling.
Before your child commences at Richmond Preschool you are required to provide:
- a copy of your child’s Birth Certificate
- a copy of your child’s immunization record (ACIR)
- a holding deposit
Some Helpful Hint to Settle Your Child
We encourage parents not to remain at the preschool for too long in the morning. This may end up being more distressing for your child.
Some children are very good at getting you to stay for "just a little longer" so that when the time comes to say goodbye they have greater difficulties separating. Tell your child that you can't stay but you will be back to pick them up.
The most effective strategy that we use if your child won’t leave you is to ask you to place your child in the care of a staff member, say goodbye and make a hasty retreat from the room. This may be very distressing for you as a parent, but in most cases your child will settle very quickly. We will be there to comfort them.
Once you have said goodbye please ensure that your child cannot see you. This enables your child to settle in and become involved in the programme.
If you leave and your child is distressed, then please ring us during the day, as many times as you need to. You can also ring at any time to check how your child is settling in. Once your child is settled and familiar we are happy for you to stay at preschool and join in experiences if you wish.
To help prepare your child for preschool you may like to do the following things:
- Talk to them about what they will do at preschool. For example - painting, water play, block play, lunchtime, singing, stories etc. Talk about the educators who will take care of them. Ensure that they are aware that if they need anything that they can ask an educator, who will help them. Try to use the educator's names so the children will become used to them.
- If your child is from a non-English speaking background, then make sure the educators are aware of some key words that will enable us to help your child eg. toilet, lunch, mum, dad etc.
- For those of you who have older children who have attended preschool, encourage them to talk about the fun things that they did or show your preschooler photos and craft items you may have kept.
- Make a special trip to the shops to gather things your child will need at preschool eg. lunch box, hat.
Be aware of things that may unsettle your child. For example, changes in our preschool routine can distress some children who would normally settle without difficulty. Changes at home can have a variety of effects on children. Some changes may include a new baby, moving house, renovations to your house, parental stress etc. We find that the end of the year can unsettle children who have had no previous settling problems. This can be due to a child's fear of 'big school' or the added pressures that families feel around Christmas time. Letting a staff member know of any changes to your home life can help us to be extra aware of any differences in your child and may assist us in understanding any behaviour changes. We have resources/handouts, which may help you with any areas your child may be worried about.
When your child is attending preschool
Each child should bring a small bag or backpack with their things in it to preschool. Your child should be able to open this easily so as to put their things away and get things out on their own. The bag will remain in your child's locker during the day.
Please ensure you send along two complete spare sets of clothing (including socks, underpants, and singlet) in your child's bag, so that they can be changed if necessary. (This may be due to water play or a toileting accident) Please remember to change these according to the season. As the preschool has only a very limited supply of spare clothes this is a necessity. Preschool T-shirts and sweat shirts are available for purchase from the office.
Richmond Preschool does not have the required facilities for nappy changing so it is important that your child is toilet trained or wears pull ups to assist them in their developing toileting skills whilst they are at preschool.
To protect your child from the sun we ask that you provide either a legionnaire, bucket or broad rimmed hat. If a hat is not provided then they will be unable to participate in the outdoor activities, we will protect your child by asking them to play in the shade or on the verandah. Richmond Preschool has a small number of spare hats that can be loaned to your child. Please place their hat in the top of their locker on arrival for easy access. Richmond Preschool hats are available for purchase from the office.
Richmond Preschool supplies sunscreen for your children. On arrival please apply sunscreen to your child and sign that this has been done. Educators will assist children in applying sunscreen if they have not had any applied. Children will be educated and assisted in applying their sunscreen at other times of the day.
Ensure that your child's shoulders are adequately covered. Sun dresses need to have a T-shirt worn underneath for adequate protection when playing outside.
Clearly label all possessions and clothing with your child’s name including lunchbox, bags, shoes & socks, etc. This prevents any confusion over ownership.
As we aim to encourage children’s independence we ask that you assist us by dressing your child in non-restrictive and serviceable clothes so they feel free to join in all activities. For this reason we ask that thongs, gum boots and "party" shoes not to be worn to preschool, sneakers and sandals are more practical shoes. Braces, belts and overalls also prove difficult for children to manage. Allowing your child these comforts assists in fostering your child's independence.