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Helping your child settle into kindergarten

 

For some children, separating from their families or caregivers at kindergarten can be an emotional time. Here are some ideas to help your child settle in: 

  • Explore the kindergarten together slowly during your first session.
  • Encourage your child to hang up their own bag and ensure that they know where it is should they need it during the session e.g. to change out of wet clothing or get their lunchbox.
  • Help your child find the toilet area and make sure they are comfortable using the toilets and hand-washing facilities.
  • Spend time with your child exploring different activities.
  • Join in the activities alongside your child.
  • Talk to the other children - ask them their names and encourage your child to introduce him/herself - or tell them your child’s name.
  • As your child gains confidence, slowly move away to allow your child’s curiosity and independence to grow.
  • Encourage your child to ask for help from the teachers - make sure he or she knows their names.
  • Talk to the teachers about the right time to leave the kindergarten for a short time.
  • Let your child know when you are leaving and when you will be back.
  • Keep to the agreed time.
  • Gradually extend the length of your child’s time at the kindergarten without you.
  • When you leave - stick to your plan. Try not to get upset by tears. Explain simply where you are going and when you will be back.
  • Ask for support from a teacher if you need it. Work with the teachers and you will find that you will foster your child’s independence until one day he/she is truly comfortable staying at Kindergarten alone.
  • Praise your child for his/her growing independence.
  • Remember - it does take time with some children. 
  • AND - always feel free to give the Kindergarten a ring to check how your child is settling.