While the transition to kindergarten may seem stressful, it is also often exciting and full of anticipation. As children face changes on multiple levels, it can bring about anxiety and uncertainty as they face a new routine and a new set of classmates and teachers. Some preparation is needed on the part of parents and teachers to prepare for kindergarten. Of course, families need support too during this transitional time and it is the role of educators like us at Robyn Taylor Childhood Development Centre to provide that.
There are a variety of resources available to parents to help them with their children’s kindergarten enrolment. Preschools can provide information about open days, enrolment dates and routines and activities that will be undertaken during formal schooling. After school programs are another tool that parents have at their disposal to achieve a better state of mind when their children start their formal education.
Directors of early childhood education centres should compile resources provided by local schools for distribution to parents. Such material should be distributed well before enrolment dates commence to ensure parents do not miss out on available spots and become forced to join a waiting list.
It’s been shown that up to 80% of parents who enrol in an after school program feel better about keeping their job compared with parents who don’t. Teachers should help assist parents in meeting their out of school needs as part of a comprehensive approach to early education and the transition to kindergarten.
Early childhood educators should ask parents about their before and after school care needs for kindergarten. They should help parents make decisions regarding their priorities when it comes to balancing work and other family commitments. When considering before and after school care options, teachers should consider the personality of the child in question before making suggestions. For example, if a child is missing their preschool friends, a shared after school program with multiple schools could be beneficial. In contrast, an anxious child who becomes shy in new situations may be best suited to an internal after school program.
Consider how the child has reacted to past transitions and changes in general. How did the child handle changes in caregivers? How did they handle placement changes? Was the child sensitive to disruptions in continuity of care or did they adjust well to each new change?
Stakeholders at all stages of the early childhood education sector have a crucial role to play during the transition of students from preschool to kindergarten. A more comprehensive approach to facilitating the movement from preschool to kindergarten guarantees that families are supported during this somewhat complex time.
At Robyn Taylor Childhood Development Centre we make every effort to facilitate the transition between preschool and kindergarten. If you are a parent with a child enrolled at Robyn Taylor Childhood Development Centre then please feel free to ask us about our resources for primary schools in the local area. We are open to take your call from Monday to Friday, 7:30 to 6:30pm, please contact us on 02 9705 8309 to ask any questions about your own transition to kindergarten.