With the start of September comes a feeling of change in the air. The breeze seems a little cooler, the leaves a little less green and for many little ones the new academic year means a change in their childcare setting. We have many new small faces joining Overton Playgroup and Preschool this autumn and it can be as nerve wracking for the parents as it is for the children. In fact for every child who happily skips in through our doors, there is often a worried looking mum, dad or carer waiting outside, calling us 10 minutes later to check they have settled! We are always happy to reassure that their little darlings are now playing happily, and have lots of ways that we can support families where children take a little longer to feel at home in our settings. Here are a few ideas about ways that you can make this new start feel as smooth as possible:
1. Try to factor in a bit of extra time at drop off in the first few days- if you’re in a rush and feeing stressed then there’s a good chance your child will pick up on your anxiety. Setting out their clothes and lunchbox the night before can be a really practical way to minimise the morning rush.
2. Talk to your child about all the fun they will have doing new activities, such as painting or messy crafts that maybe you don’t want to do at home. Perhaps take a walk past the Playgroup or Preschool with your little one so they feel familiar with the setting. The Overton library is right opposite the Playgroup entrance and can be a fab way of helping them feel right at home in the Community centre.
3. There are some lovely books that can help a child feel ready for their new Preschool experience. Starting School by Janet and Allan Ahlberg is perfect for those going up to Preschool, and for little ones there are lots of books available featuring their favourite characters such as Topsy & Tim or Charlie and Lola.