Enrolling your toddler in nursery school is a crucial step in her growth. These days, toddlers as young as three or four are sent to nursery school. She may have started at a playschool or stayed at home with you till now.
While most playschools focus on socialisation and play (for younger children), nursery schools focus on formal and regulated learning. If your toddler has never been to playschool, starting nursery school may be the first time that she will be separating from you, so expect her to feel anxious and apprehensive.
Try these top 10 tips to ease the transition for both of you!
- Trust your instinct – if you don’t get a good ‘feel’ – don’t enroll your child if you have other options.
- Visit the school beforehand – take your toddler there a few times beforehand to familiarise her with the new surroundings.
- If possible, find a playmate who attends the same school beforehand – it always helps to see a familiar face.
- Teach your toddler some independence beforehand – let her get used to being separated from you for a few hours each day before “D” day.
- Let her walk, don’t carry her in – the wrench at crunch time will be difficult for both of you to handle.
- Distract her as you are arriving and walking in – say, “Wow! Look at that nice swing! Let’s go and try it out.”
- Don’t linger – be firm and encouraging. Tell her that she is safe and loved, then leave.
- Try not to be late in picking her up – it is not fair if all the other kids have gone home and your little one is wondering where you are.
- Be confident and positive – if you are, so will your toddler.
- Trust the teacher – once you are happy with your decision about your toddler’s school and her teacher, allow the teachers to take control whilst your child is in their care.