As parents, choosing to start your child in preschool is one of the most challenging and often emotional decisions you will need to make. At Cuddly Kiwis, we understand this and endeavour to support you through this transition of settling in.
This initial period can be a time of anxiety as parents try to deal with their own feelings of worry, guilt or anticipation. Children can pick up on your mood, so if you're nervous and anxious when you drop your child off, they will likely reflect your apprehension. Remain calm and be upbeat, even if you don't feel 100% cheerful. But if your little one does pick up on your worries, just continue to provide them with reassurance.
Many parents may see their child have a bad first reaction to preschool and immediately decide to pull him/her out of the classroom. However, this denies the child an opportunity to learn how to work through negative feelings and sets a precedent of not having to face problems.
At Cuddly Kiwis, we understand that you want the best for your child and the assurance that they will be safe and well nurtured, loved, provided for and given the best start in their education journey. We will communicate with you regularly during this period to let you know how your child is settling. If your child becomes very distressed at any point, we will contact you. You are also welcome to phone us and check on your child to see how they are doing.
Our staff are warm and loving and will comfort your child, making sure they feel welcome and help them become engaged in the many exciting learning and play opportunities we have to offer. If your child has a special toy or comforter, you are welcome to include this during their settling period.
If your child is taking longer to settle in than you had expected and you still have concerns, do discuss these with a senior staff member. Together, you can agree on and put into place strategies to support your child during this time.
Remember it is the most natural thing in the world for children to miss their parents in these first days and weeks. You are their special people, after all.
Rest assured, children are more resilient than we give them credit for and it won’t be long before they start looking forward to coming to school and seeing all their friends, teachers and engaging in their favourite activities!
Talk to them about preschool and the fun activities they will be doing and the friends they will make.
Visit the preschool together with your child and get acquainted with the staff prior to their starting day. This allows them to become familiar with the environment and the staff. Letting your child move away from you to play during these visits is positive, so encourage them to explore if they are ready.
Children adjust best if you make your farewell short, cheerful and simple. You can say something like, “I’m going now, I know you’ll have a great time today at school, I’ll be back to pick you later”. During the transition, reassure your child that you will always come back to collect them and see all the fun they have been having.
Communicate with the staff and inform them of anything you think they should know about your child. If you show your child that you trust the staff and are happy leaving them with us, they will quickly develop that trust also.
Children adjust in different ways, please be assured that our staff will do whatever is necessary to comfort your child and will wait until he/she is ready to participate before offering encouragement to join in.
Don’t sneak away.
It might be tempting to slip away from the room if your child is distracted for a few minutes, but your little one will feel more anxious and distressed if they realize that you’ve suddenly disappeared.