For most children, preschool is an exciting place right from the start. For others however, it may take a little longer before they become familiar with us and feel a sense of belonging, trust and security. This is quite normal! All children react differently and the educators are very responsive to children’s needs (and families) and do all they can to settle each child in to preschool and help them to feel safe, secure and supported.
Saying goodbye can sometimes be the hardest part for children (and families) and there are some things families can do to make the process easier.
- Talk positively about preschool and all the wonderful, exciting things they can do here.
- Spend some time in the classroom with your child on their first few days, choosing activities to do and staying with them for a while.
- Don’t say ‘goodbye’ until you are actually ready to leave. When you have said ‘goodbye’, leave, even if this appears to upset your child. Some children are upset as parents leave, but settle very quickly soon afterwards as they get involved in an activity with an educator. Parents are welcome to wait in the foyer until they feel comfortable to leave their child. A staff member will always call you if your child is too distressed, we will not leave them. Remember, we are all parents too and have gone through this experience personally so we can empathise with you and your child.
- Remember all children are different and will react in a different way. We are always happy for families to call us throughout the day to see how their child is going.
- For the first few days we encourage families to pick their child up earlier than usual (about 2.30 pm), as a shorter day can help to make the beginning a more positive experience. Until children become familiar with the educators and routine, they may want to go home when they see other families arriving, even if their day has been otherwise happy.
- Try not to tell your child you missed them as this may cause them to worry about you! The educators are happy to talk to families about how their child is settling into preschool and provide some suggestions which may help them to feel more comfortable and secure.