Preparations at Home
Joining a new kindergarten is a big change for children and also for their carers. In order to make the settling in process smoother and easier, families can support this process by doing some preparations at home beforehand:
Get to know the settling in process in the kindergarten and what will be expected of you during the starting kindergarten process
Explain the process in a simple way to your child. During the initial meeting you could ask for the kindergarten’s timeline and use this with your child
Involve the child in the preparations. Keep the mood light and positive. Go shopping together for anything required when joining the kindergarten like a backpack, water bottle or a new stuffed animal
Breastfeeding: create a rhythm that your child no longer needs breastfeeding during the hours they will be at kindergarten.
Prepare anything else your child may need to make them feel secure in the setting. You can bring a family photo from home and a sleeping toy/security blanket that can help with settling in.
Settling your child into a new kindergarten is a big step in your child's life as it may be the first time a child is going into an institutionalised social setting. Even within a child's own cultural setting they will notice many differences in routines at home compared to those in the kindergarten. These differences may create insecurities, and the settling in process is designed to support you and your child through this.
Every child's needs will be different, and every family’s situation will be different. While some children may be confident to walk in independently, others will benefit from a more structured and supported start. The main objective is to create an open dialogue with your kindergarten educators to find out what works for you and your child. Working together with the educators in the kindergarten will ensure your child has the best chance to have a happy and successful transition into the new setting.