One of the many things your child will experience at preschool is change, or transition. Transitioning from home to care, from age group to age group, from preschool to kindergarten, and so on up the chain. He or she will also be transitioning while at school, such as from one area of the school to others, and from one activity to another. While change can cause some anxiety and fear, here at Peace of Mind we do everything we can to make the process of transition as pain free as possible.
Embarking on something new and unknown can be scary for anyone, and transitioning to preschool can be too. Starting preschool sometimes means the loss of familiar people throughout the day, interacting with many children – some from varying backgrounds, a new (and in our case, large) building, new expectations or rules, and an overall unfamiliar setting. We also take into account the many things that may affect how a child experiences transition. Families’ expectations of care differ, different children have different responses to the same event, the age and development of the child will affect their experience, as will his or her culture, language, and background.
Despite these challenges, your child knows what to do – he or she has been conquering transitions for the day s/he was born, literally! From the womb and into your arms, your son or daughter has been learning, growing, and changing on a daily basis. As care providers, we see transition as a positive growth experience, brimming with learning opportunities. We know that while with us during the day, your child will learn friendship skills, self-help skills, decision making skills, literacy and numeracy, listening skills, large and small motor skills, how to follow directions, how to manage his or her emotions, and so much more.
Our 25 years of experience in childcare has taught us that transition is usually harder on the parents than it is on the child. We understand that change affects the family as a whole, and have a few ways to ease the stress that transitioning may cause. Firstly, we always focus on the positive – the new friends, building a sense of belonging in a new community, and being excited and motivated to learn new things. Our main goal while a child is transiting to preschool is to make sure the child feels comfortable, relaxed, and valued. To do this, we believe communication is essential. At Peace of Mind, we typically host one event a month where parents and families can interact and speak with our teachers. From family dinner nights where parents and families can meet with teachers and other families to share information, get parenting tips, build community, and enjoy themselves to a Halloween Bash, our Spring Carnival, a Valentine’s Day Dance, and Grandparent Lunches. We have conferences during the year to discuss any questions or concerns you may have – but usually we marvel together at your child’s development! Our teachers are always available by email, usually by phone, and often in their classrooms if you’d like to visit. Parents communicating with their child’s teacher, and advocating for the needs of their child is the best way we’ve found to ease a child into preschool. When teachers know your child’s strengths, skills, and talents as well as any obstacles, fears, or worries the transition process can be tailor made to your child.
If have any questions about transitioning to preschool, please call us at (651) 731-2608