As you prepare your preschooler to take their first steps into the world of education, it can be an exhilarating journey for both of you. To ensure that your youngster is suitably prepared for school and ready to thrive, create a comprehensive list of critical elements. Doing so will give both parent and child peace of mind knowing they’ve taken all possible measures towards success!
This article will provide parents with an early learning checklist to ensure that they’ve covered all the necessary steps in preparing their little one for the transition.
Choosing the Right Preschool
The preschool your child attends is an essential factor in their educational journey and should be taken seriously. Before committing to any preschool, take into account the following factors:
- Proximity to your home or workplace
- School ratings and reviews
- Safety features such as fire drills and background checks on staff
- Curriculum and learning methodologies
- Types of activities offered (e.g. music, art, sports)
It may be beneficial to chat with preschool leaders to get an understanding of their mission and values. These conversations can also provide you with an opportunity to ask questions and have better insight into the school you are considering.
Once you’ve picked a school, it’s time to ensure your preschooler is ready for their new environment. It is the parent’s responsibility to see that the preschooler is appropriately dressed, groomed, and equipped with the necessary skills and supplies. Teachers and school staff are in charge of education, and they’re excited to take on this role!
Preparing Your Child Emotionally
In addition to physical preparation, you must ready your preschooler emotionally by providing them with the tools they need to handle social and cognitive development.
- Familiarize your preschooler with preschool teachers and staff in advance.
- Ensure that the preschooler has a positive attitude towards school.
- Teach them how to handle difficult situations (e.g. bullying, separation anxiety).
- Encourage them to make friends and try new things.
Mental and emotional readiness are equally important for preschoolers. Parents must help preschoolers manage their emotions and get comfortable with their environment so they can focus on learning and having fun.
Providing Proper Medical Care
Ensure that your preschooler meets all of their immunization and other medical requirements. The preschool should provide parents with a list of what medical services need to be fulfilled prior to starting. See that the preschooler is up to date on any routine check-ups, tests, or exams required. The majority of schools will not accept preschoolers without proof of completed medical services.
Potty Training & Other Challenges
Potty training is one of the biggest challenges preschoolers face. For some programs, it is required that children are fully toilet trained and can handle the full preschool day. Start training your little one months before their first day so that they can adjust to the environment and be comfortable with the routine if they are joining a program where potty training is expected to be complete.
Small children may find it difficult to adjust to new routines and environments, which can result in tantrums or crying. It is the parent’s job to be supportive during this time and provide a nurturing environment for their preschooler to grow.
Communication & Scheduling
Set up a communication routine with preschool staff so that you can stay informed and in touch with what’s going on during school time. Attend open houses and other events to get familiar with the environment, staff, and resources that the school provides. On your child’s side, set up a routine for meals, bedtime, and wake-up times to ensure they are well-rested when preschool begins.
Basic Supply Preparations
Your chosen school will provide a list of things to bring, but these are the basics across most preschool and pre-K programs:
- Personal hygiene (e.g. brushing their teeth, washing hands)
- Basic numeracy & literacy skills (e.g. counting to 10, reading simple words)
- Basic supplies (e.g. pencils, lunchbox, water bottle, nap mat, backpack, and other items as specified by the school)
Getting Your Child Ready for the Big Step: Starting School
This preschool checklist for parents is not exhaustive, but it is a great starting point for preschoolers’ and parents’ educational journey. This checklist will empower parents to guarantee that their child is ready for the beneficial and stimulating experience of preschool and preK.
Furthermore, this school readiness checklist serves as a reminder of how integral parents are in the development and education of their child. Whether you’re an experienced preschool parent or just starting out on a new path with your little one, this checklist could be a valuable asset to ensure that your experience is both successful and stress-free.
Looking for a preschool in your area? The Cadence Education network has preschool centers across the nation. Browse our website to learn more about our programs and curricula, or contact us today to get started.