Friday, July 15, 2011

The First Day of Preschool

The first Day of Preschool can be Tough... for Parents, Children and Childcare Providers

For Parents, sending your kids to preschool can bring about a slew of fears—will they receive good care, will they make friends, will they behave well and will it affect your relationship with them are just a few that come to mind. However, it’s important to keep in mind that your child is probably just as much, if not more concerned!

Even if your child is used to attending daycare, the preschool environment will have a stronger focus on early childhood education, in addition to all new classmates. If this is your child’s first time away, they may even experience some separation anxiety. Here’s some tips to help make your child’s experience as pleasant as possible:

1) Set Up Play-dates
Prior to the start of preschool, it’s important that your child experience what it’s like to play well with others. Try arranging a play-date with one of your friends’ or neighbors’ children to make sure they’ll be able to play well with others when their first day comes.

2) Create Excitement
Approximately two weeks before they’re scheduled to enroll, create excitement by circling the enrollment date on the calendar and adding a sticker with your child each day leading up to it, or even create your own advent calendar. A few days before, offer a surprise reward for having a successful first day.

3) Control Emotions
On the big day finally arrives, give a simple goodbye hug and kiss, trying not to get too emotional so the child’s anxiety does not increase. If you promised a reward, don’t forget it!

4) Stick to a Routine
After the first day of preschool, be sure to follow a routine on how you say goodbye and how you pick your child up everyday so as to avoid any separation anxiety.

For Preschools, the first day can be just as tough. With a whole new set of parent and children information to learn, it can seem overwhelming at first, but with the right tools, it can definitely be manageable. Using childcare software allows providers to quickly take attendance, easily access parent information, record student progress, check payment status, create lesson plans, validate pickup, and best of all, take photos and videos of children to send to parents, offering peace of mind. In addition to using childcare software, it’s important to encourage parent involvement, both in and out of the classroom.

Parents, if you’ve already started your children in preschool, what are some additional tips to ease their (and your) first day? Providers, share your stories of first day jitters on our Facebook or twitter pages.

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