This is an exciting time, although we understand that the first month can be challenging for you or your child. The new routine can be made easier by planning ahead and being prepared for what to expect. Here are some tips to help you and your child get through the first month in their new environment.
A few weeks before your child’s ‘first day’, drive past the centre and point it out as an exciting place which will become a second home.
Each space within our three centres is creatively imbued with colour, artworks, books, toys, building materials, photographs, art supplies and natural materials. You may like to begin to talk about all the fun things your child will be doing each day with new friends and lots of great toys.
Some parents find it useful to start leaving their child with friends or family for short periods so they begin to get in a routine where they know they are safe and that you will return. You may like to even visit the centre for a few quick visits. Your child will slowly get used to the new smells and environment making the first day more familiar. There will be lots of new toys, sounds, faces and voices so encouraging your child to play and engage in a few observational activities can be really beneficial.
Completing the “All About Me” sheet for your child will outline their likes so that the educators can plan similar activities for their first day to help with the transition.
We encourage the children to interact and feel connected to the physical environment around them so we ask you to not bring additional toys or entertainment items. We have plenty of wonderful resources to play within each room and lots of resources for outdoor play. Each day is also packed with well-planned activities run by our educators so there is no need for additional entertainment items.
Please also avoid packing lollies and junk food for the children. Any healthy food or snacks should not be left in your child’s bag, instead please give them to a staff member.
We recommend the following pick up and drop off routine on the first day.
This is an exciting time so it is natural that you feel happy and excited for your child. Of course, it is also a difficult time as it is a brand new milestone. It is common that children cry during this transition period. In our experience, we find that children tend to settle in better if you are able to give your child to a staff member to cuddle if they are crying. If a parent shows that they are confident and comfortable with leaving their child at the centre, the child is more likely to settle in better. If a parent is upset and shows hesitation, children pick up on this. While most children cry on their first day, most parents have a bit of a cry too. This is a big milestone and it is normal to be emotional; just try to save the tears until you are out of sight!
It is also normal for your child to love it for the first day or week but then cry every day for a month afterwards. Everything is new and can sometimes distract a child during the first few days after the ‘newness’ has worn off, that is when they realise that they miss their loved ones. Our loving educators are very experienced with helping a child (and family) to settle in, they are always on hand to talk to and to get advice on the best way to settle your child into the centre.
Walking into one of our child education centres, you can witness a rich sense of interaction and connection among all the members of our family community. We welcome you to join this family and we love parents to visit at any time.
We plan a lot of special days, such as concerts and performances where the children put on a special show for the parents. We inform you of these upcoming events via newsletters, Facebook and announcements at each centre. We also have information evenings, parent nights and warmly encourage any parent help or visits.
We look forward to welcoming you and your child!