Tips for Helping Kids Transition to Kindergarten

Jan 07 2014
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Some of the kids in your care may be transitioning to kindergarten in the near future, what should you do? Kindergarten can be a big transition for little ones, especially if they are going from a private center or an even smaller family home to a public school. They are leaving everyone that has become familiar to them behind and have to learn how to cope with the higher demands that come along with being a kindergartener. Here are some ways to assist you as a provider in guiding them along the way:

  • Communicate: Make a point to talk and answer questions with them as much as possible about their new school and the transition they are making. The best thing you can do is stay positive and encourage them to continue to develop an eagerness to learn. As their childcare provider or preschool teacher you are a big influence in their life, so if they can sense your excitement they will follow your lead.
  • Familiarize: When everything is brand new, it can be very scary and intimidating. Encourage their parents to schedule a time to tour the school and meet with their new teacher beforehand. Becoming familiar with where they will be spending their days will ease their nerves. Also, encourage them to reach out to other parents in their class to set up a play date, making friends prior to their first day will make them more comfortable.
  • Practice: Establishing a routine is important, especially when there is a substantial change in what they’re used to.  Encourage their parents to have them wake up and go to bed at the time they will be for school. As a provider, do some research on the content and pace of the curriculum, have those transitioning complete readings and exercises similar to those they will be doing in class.
  • Connect: Stress to parents how important it is to make a conscious effort to get involved; it is just as much their new school as it is their child’s. Encourage them to:
    –  Join committees, even if they can’t make every meeting. Joining a group of parents who are just like them can be extremely beneficial and they could become aware of resources they wouldn’t have otherwise.
    –  Volunteer in the classroom, even if they can’t make a continuous habit out of it. It is important for their child to associate them with their new environment and them supporting them while being there is something that they will remember as they grow up. If possible, be sure to stay connected with the school’s website and social media accounts too!
  • Educate: There are a number of basics that children should know before entering kindergarten. It is both your job and their parents’ to educate them and make sure they are aware and capable of these things. They should be able to take care of their personal needs, listen to an adult, follow directions and cooperate and play with other children alone and in small groups.

Kindergarten readiness means making sure children have the skills needed to be successful in school, as well as encouraging parents to work together with you and their new teacher to meet their child’s social, emotional, physical and intellectual needs. Use these tips to help prepare children and be sure to let us know if you have anything to add or find something that works better!

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