Starting school is an important time in the lives of children and their families. Children will be entering a new environment, discovering new routines, and will encounter new social, emotional and learning skills and interactions. Research has shown school readiness via a preschool learning environment can better prepare your child to be ready with their transition to school, providing them with opportunities to expand their repository of knowledge, cultivate their strengths and interests, contributing to their health and wellbeing, and build rock solid academic foundations.
Who can help with transition from preschool to school?
Whilst parents and families play a crucial role to children in their preschool years to help them transition to school, early childhood educators help maximise their opportunities for learning and development, supporting them in decision making skills and emotion management skills.
Early childhood educators are qualified in working with children and have a great understanding in helping them develop a healthy self-image, devising creative ways for children to understand and make connections and meaning, and guiding them in decision-making processes.
School Readiness Program
The preschool experience, through a ‘school readiness’ program, provides numerous opportunities to learn, through varied experiences and activities and help your child to equip themselves with those essential skills preparing them for school and beyond.
A school readiness programme is guided by the following Early Years Learning Framework learning outcomes: a strong sense of identity; connecting with and contributing to their world, a strong sense of wellbeing, confident and involved learners; and effective communicators.
For some early learning centres, school readiness also encompasses developing strong partnerships with the local schools, and encourage teachers to visit the children in the early learning setting, providing transitions statements in term 4 to the respective school of attendance.
Social Competence and Emotional Wellbeing
Children learn to develop their social and emotional confidence through expanding their networks and are supported through interaction with educators and other children in the room. Along the way, they respond to respect and understand values. They become aware of fairness, learning how to interact in relation to others with care and respect, ability to manage their emotions, develop friendships; and develop knowledgeable and confident identities.
Health and Physical Wellbeing
A preschool setting provides children with the tools to build relationships that are vital to their wellbeing. A child’s physical wellbeing provides them with the ability to learn, concentrate and cooperate and provides them with the essential fine motor skills. Children become more independent, taking more responsibility for their health and safety, and are taught about the importance of a nutritional diet, by being exposed to healthy foods.
Through an early learning education setting, children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising and researching. This includes basic maths and language skills, basic conversation skills and an understanding of the wider world. The children become more confident and involved learners, and will be able to transfer and adapt what they have learned to other settings, which is important when transitioning to a school environment.
A collaborative preschool learning environment
There are many activities that can take place outside the of the child care environment that can also benefit your child in preparation for kindergarten and school, such as reading to your child, exploring language by asking questions, or even going for a walk to discover the natural environment.
An environment where families and early childcare educators collaborate to provide a curriculum and learning experience that is meaningful for the children, helps to strengthen the preschool setting, ensuring both children and families are better equipped with a child’s transition to school.