First Day at Preschool

There are many benefits to preschool. It’s a fun place for your child to make friends, take turns, learn to share, follow rules and discover new things. A preschool is your child’s new home away from home but starting preschool also comes with a wide range of emotions for both our children and us as parents. This is why, at Winchmore Hill Preschool, we’ve put together some tips and advice to help make starting preschool just that bit easier.

But first, we’re going to cover the most common question that’s asked, which is “what age do children start preschool?”

What age do children start preschool?

Generally speaking, children start preschool between the ages of two and three, until they leave to attend primary school after their fourth birthday. 

By ages two to three, children have an interest in making friends similar to their age, and their curiosity grows as they start their journey towards independence.

Starting preschool is the perfect opportunity for your children to make friends and is essential for building social skills, which sets them up nicely for when they move on to primary school. Building friendships in the early stages promotes confidence, improves communication and boosts a child’s self-esteem. And where better to develop these skills than at preschool? Being surrounded by other children, toys and getting involved in activities lends itself to this.

Visit the preschool together

Take your little one to visit the preschool with you a few times before starting. This can help tackle any concerns they might have around being sent to unfamiliar surroundings. 

Giving your little one the opportunity to see their preschool first-hand gives them the chance to observe the classroom, explore new toys and meet other children and teachers before they start. Whilst your child takes in the preschool’s environment, feel free to speak with their teachers. Teachers are always happy to answer any questions you may have. The most common questions parents ask is what will their little one’s day-to-day routine look like and what sort of activities they will be doing. 

Asking these questions can help you to prepare your child at home before they start. You can do this by slowly implementing similar routines and activities at home so they can familiarise themselves with these things beforehand.

Pack something familiar

Whether it’s their favourite teddy bear or a family photo, let your little one take something familiar with them to preschool. This item will provide them with comfort when they’re surrounded by a new environment and new people. 

At the age of two or three, a child is starting to understand object permanence theory. That is, when something is no longer in sight, it does still exist.

Open up the conversation about starting preschool

Attending preschool is an odd concept to a child because they’ve never experienced it before, and the idea of change can be scary. In some cases, preschoolers can develop anxiety in the lead up which can come in many forms. Sometimes their anxiety can be easy to spot and come in physical forms such as stomach aches or headaches, and in other cases, the anxiety might come in the form of questions. If your child starts asking, can you come to preschool with me? or they might ask if they have to go.

To ensure you don’t miss these signs, spend time talking about starting preschool. It might be the case that your child has concerns or maybe they’re excited. Either way, letting them express how they feel is a good way to stay in-tune with their emotions and help to ease any anxiety they may be feeling before the start date.

Make your goodbye short and sweet

Drawn-out and tearful goodbyes are ones that can impact the rest of our day, whereas short and sweet goodbyes are much easier to leave behind. That’s why it’s important to be strong on your child’s first day at preschool. Children can pick up nonverbal cues from parents which can dictate how their start to preschool is going to go. You might feel anxious but if you can help it, remain calm and stay upbeat so that your child internalises this attitude and takes preschool in their stride. 

When entering the building, talk to your child, reassure them that they’ll have fun and make new friends. Introduce them to their teacher and take a step back so that the teacher can welcome them into their class. Once your child has settled, let them know that you’ll be going and give them a loving goodbye. Whether that’s a tight hug or a secret handshake, this farewell will offer them comfort before you part ways for the day. Remind them that you’ll be back later and that you’re excited to hear how their day went.

Connect with The Winchmore Hill Preschool

At Winchmore Hill Preschool, children in our care are at the heart of everything we do. We understand that each and every child is unique, which is why we have a wide range of carefully planned activities and experiences to encourage them to explore the world however is best for them.

If you have any questions about your child starting preschool at The Winchmore Hill Preschool, please get in touch with our dedicated team. We are confident that paying us a visit will show you the extent of the care, stimulation and education we provide. In the meantime, feel free to take a virtual tour of The Winchmore Hill Preschool.

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