If your little one has, or is about to start kindergarten, then you both may be a little anxious. At Ruahine Kindergartens we know there’s a few things that can be done to lessen the stress and help your child to settle quickly.
We welcome you to spend time visiting kindergarten prior to your child’s actual start date. Get to know the teachers, as the more comfortable you as a parent feel, the more comfortable your child will too.
Discuss with your child some of the new and exciting things they will play with and the new friends they may make. Also tell them about some of the routines they can expect, such as toileting, eating, and mat times.
During their first week, take ample to time settle your child. Sign them in, help them put their belongings away, show them where the toilets and eating places are, and set them up at an activity before saying goodbye. Be sure to tell them when you will be back, in a way that they can understand - such as ‘after mat time’ or ‘after lunch’. Let a teacher know when you’re leaving - this way they can work with you and your children on saying goodbye and your child can establish an attachment with them.
If your child is particularly nervous about you leaving, leave for a short period of time (e.g. an hour), and then slowly extend this time out.
Return at the promised time and ask the teachers about your child’s day, what held their interest, and what activities they may have done. Talk about their day with them at home. Keep it positive, rather than feeding on their I missed you messages, ask them what they did, who they met, and what they enjoyed.
Continued communication between home and kindergarten is important too. The more information you can give us about your child, their family and interests, the better we can work with your child to explore their interests, and help them settle. All of our kindergartens use Educa, an online portfolio system where teachers regularly update your child’s learning stories and any observations. Educa also provides a great way for families to provide feedback, so you’re always connected.
Regular attendance is another way to ensure your child settles into the learning environment and develop friendships.
We understand that separating from parents can be very stressful and upsetting. However, staying to comfort an anxious child can prolong the settling period. Children do tend to calm down within a minute or two of parents/whanau leaving. You’re welcome to ring the kindergarten and check on how they have settled if you are particularly concerned.
Our fully qualified and registered teachers work wonders at making the transition as easy as possible (for both you and your child).