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Preparing for the First Day: A Parent’s Checklist for Starting Preschool

There may be a lot of different feelings going through your mind as your child starts preschool. You probably can’t wait to see your child have fun and meet new people. You might also feel a little sad that your baby is leaving you for the outdoors without you. It’s normal to feel this way. Your child is probably feeling many different things about this change as well. They may be happy to be a big kid but also be scared about being away from you and starting something new.

You can prepare for the big day in the weeks leading up to it by doing a lot of things. But attempt to remain understated. Your child can get more anxious than thrilled if you make excessive fuss out of this accomplishment.

These ideas will help kids prepare for preschool at any Potomac child care center.

Before Children Start Preschool

A couple weeks before preschool starts, you want to make sure to purchase a backpack for your child. Let your child pick it out if you can. This helps them feel like they are in charge of something. It also makes them feel like a “big kid” starting preschool.

Put your child’s and caregiver’s names in permanent ink on everything: backpack, jacket, shoes, blanket, teddy bear, etc. If your child needs to take medicine daily, please inform the preschool health worker. For your child to get medicine at school, you must follow certain rules and fill out certain forms.

Plan how your kid will get to and from child care in Potomac, MD. Talk to your child about what they will do in the morning and afternoon so they know they will be safe, cared for, and accepted. Start following your kid’s “school bedtime.” As the summer months and longer days begin, kids often stay up later. To help your child get used to preschool, start following his school bedtime about two weeks before the start of the school year.

The night before your child starts preschool, make sure you take the time to answer any questions they might have. Even if these last-minute questions are happening as you tuck them in for the night, before they get into bed, allow them to pick what clothes they want to wear on their big day, within reason though you want it to be appropriate for the weather and preschool. Most importantly, make sure your child gets to bed on time.

preschool kids with backpacks

When Children Start Preschool

You can stay with your child at preschool for a short time during the day in the beginning. Talk to the preschool teacher and come up with a plan that works for everyone.

Tell your child how long you’ll be there ahead of time so they’re not shocked when you leave.

Routines can help your child feel safe and comfortable when many new things happen. Set up a morning schedule for preschool. For example, wake up, eat breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, put on sunscreen, pack a lunchbox, and leave. You could even use pictures to make a chart that shows the different steps in your practice.

Tell your child you’ll pick them up at the end of the day and say goodbye. But don’t leave them alone without saying goodbye. Sneaking out never works well. If your child is nervous, you can create a goodbye routine where they wave from a specific spot while you leave.

When Children are Worried About Preschool

It’s easy to quickly comfort your child and move on, but it’s important to let them know you heard what they were saying. No matter how big or small, a child’s fears about preschool can greatly affect how they feel about it. Are you going to remember to get them in the afternoon? Is their caregiver going to be nice?

Your kid should know feeling happy, sad, scared, or worried is okay. Tell them that tons of people feel scared when they start something new. Tell them about when you started something new and how you felt about it. You can help your child figure out how to deal with their fears if you let them talk about them. For instance, if they are worried about missing you, you could make them a book of family pictures they can keep in their cubby and look at when they feel alone.

preschool boy at drop off standing at his cubby

When Children Don’t Want to go to Preschool Anymore

If your child refuses to go to preschool anymore or, in some cases, an after school program in Potomac, MD, here are some things to check for:

  1. Check for physical causes. Visit the doctor if your child has a stomach discomfort to rule out a medical issue.
  2. Ask your youngster about their worries. Tell your child that a plan will be established to get them back to school or care and that they can overcome the difficulty with your help. Don’t push it if they can’t express their problems or discuss them.
  3. Do some investigating. If your child claims illness to avoid school or care, look for trends and objective ‘clues’ to explain their refusal. Is their ailment reported at a certain time or day?
  4. Talk to your child’s caregiver. Find time for both parents to attend school or after-school care. This is an opportunity to learn more about the issue and show your commitment to solving it. Keep an open mind, avoid the ‘blame game’ and solve problems.
  5. Don’t encourage staying home. Instead of giving your child attention, compassion, and screen time, create a learning environment and encourage reading, studying, and desk time.
  6. Create a sick policy. Example: ‘Unless you have a fever, you must go to school.’ Though you don’t want to send a sick child to school or care, a sick policy outlines clear guidelines if your doctor has ruled out physical illness.
  7. Get help. If your child has separation anxiety when you drop them off, or you’re exhausted or frustrated with school/care rejection, Dad or a trusted friend may assist.

Your Feelings About Your Child Starting Preschool

It’s natural for a parent to be worried or concerned when their kids first start preschool. After all, you have spent the last few years caring for them, and now you are entrusting their care to somebody else. It can be a hard thing to deal with. However, if you show them, your child will pick up on your worries about preschool. Your child will believe they can do well in preschool if you show them that you do. Talking to the preschool teachers can help if you are worried. They can tell you how your kid is doing. Talking to other parents can also be helpful.

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