Parent Tips

From Childcare to School – How to Prepare Your Child for the Transition after Summer Vacation

Toddler with backpack walking
Ready, set, let’s go!

It’s that time of year – in fact, I’ll bet if you listen closely, you can hear the chatter from children all around “Oh no, it’s time to go back to school!”

If your child has been in childcare or a preschool type setting over the summer, the transition to regular school may not be as bad as if they stayed at home, but there is still some preparation that needs to be done before the first bells ring this fall.

Children who have been in childcare or preschool over the summer months will have some idea of what a setting with other children is like on a daily basis. However, these settings tend to be on a much less strict schedule than a regular school day. Helping your child adjust for school isn’t difficult if you know the steps to take.

Things to know before the first day:

  • Take the time to talk to your child and begin explaining some of the things they can expect on the first day of school and even beyond. Don’t frighten them! School years are supposed to be the best time of their life, don’t get them on the wrong foot. Share some of your favorite school memories.
  • Go to the school for a visit. If your child is starting elementary school, start by taking a trip to the playground and then setting up a visit to the classroom. Help him/her find the classroom, restroom, lunchroom and principal’s office.
  • Let your child ask questions and answer them as openly and honestly as possible.
  • Remind your child of all of the friends he/she will make when they go to school and also remind him/her that many of the children from preschool or the childcare will likely be in the same school and classroom.

Finally, remember that the school your child attends is a part of your community and easy to get involved with. Sign-up to be a classroom parent for your child’s class or join the PTA. Your child will likely find the childcare to school transition much easier if you are involved.

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