Making the leap from being at home to part-time or full-time enrollment in VPK and pre-school can be hard. Here are some helpful tips on easing the transition:
Easy Does it! Part time enrollment is a great way to start your child off if it is feasible. If your child is being enrolled soon, try to budget for part time enrollment in the 3-4 weeks leading up to full-time. This will instill the comfort of knowing that you will come get them later in the day. Once they begin attending for longer periods, the knowledge you will always come get them will help with the adjustment. Plus, they will probably be having so much fun they don’t even notice the extra time!
Explaining Why If your child is 3+ you can explain why it is important for them to start going to daycare or ‘school’. Children this age may understand (with a few “but why”s thrown in) that it is important for them to learn new things and make friends. They may understand that you have to go to work. Explaining that going to daycare/school is their ‘job’ can make them feel that what they’re doing is important too.
Conference It can be beneficial to have conferences with your child’s teacher. By working with your child’s teacher initially you establish a trust that they have your child’s best interest in mind. You can also establish if there are any items you need to work with your child on, such as practicing patience.
What Did You Do Today? Always make sure to ask your child about their day. Sometimes your child may not have much to say; so you may have to ask a BUNCH of questions to get much information. This will keep you more in tuned what they’re learning in class and what activities they enjoy. Make sure to find out who their friends are for upcoming birthdays or potential playdates.
Calling All parents call a BUNCH the first week or so. Just remember the more your child’s carer is on the phone, the less time they have to spend watching the kids!