Many parents are preparing for sending their kids back to school or to school for the first time. – Stock Photo
The first day of kindergarten is a milestone moment for children that their parents will remember forever.
Data from Statistics Canada reports that roughly 52 percent of children in non-parental child care are in a daycare center, preschool, or childcare center. Children who attend preschool or daycare may make a relatively seamless transition to kindergarten. However, it’s still a good idea for parents to take steps to prepare youngsters for kindergarten in advance of the first day of school.
- Attend an orientation or related events. Elementary schools are typically housed in much larger buildings than preschools or daycares, which can be intimidating for children. Attending kindergarten orientation or related events as a family can help children see their classrooms, and meet their teachers and potentially their classmates.
- Meet other kids in the neighborhood. Some children attend preschools or daycares close to home, while others may go to facilities near a parent’s office. Regardless of where kids go to daycare or preschool, they’re likely to meet new youngsters in kindergarten. Introducing them to other kids in the neighborhood who will also be going to kindergarten can calm children’s nerves. Seeing a familiar face on the bus and/or in class can put youngsters at ease.
- Avoid lengthy goodbyes. Parents may get a little teary-eyed on their children’s first day of kindergarten, but drawing out goodbyes as they get on the bus or walk into school will ultimately make it harder for children. Limit your goodbye to a hug and kiss and some words of encouragement. Keep the emphasis on the positive and the fun that’s to be had so kids arrive at school in a good frame of mind.
- Remind youngsters you’ll be there to pick them up at the end of the day. Let children know that, just like in daycare and preschool, mom or dad will be there to pick them up at school or the bus stop at the end of the day. This sense of the familiar can calm kids’ nerves and reassure them that a smiling face will be there at end of the school day.
The first day of kindergarten is a big moment for young children. Parents can take steps to calm first-day jitters and ensure children have a memorable day.