We recognise that starting out of home care, or transitioning to a new centre, is a big adjustment - for everyone in the family! We would offer the following tips to make the process as easy as possible
1) Where possible, plan your care ahead of time. This allows sufficient time for all the enrolment forms to be completed, and also means that you and your child can come into the centre for some familiarisation plays before their enrolment starts. You are always welcome!
2) Explain to your child what they will be doing and the routine while with us - how they will have snacks, and lunch with us, how there are kind educators who will help them, and lots of new friends to play with. Some children find having a photo of their family in their bag that they can look at helps them to settle also.
3) When the day arrives, introduce your child to their educators, and show them around their room. Make sure that toilet trained children know where the toilets are. Show them their locker and store their belongings, then find an activity to do together. When it's time to go, say goodbye, and leave quickly, even if your child protests about you leaving. While it's hard as a parent to walk away from a crying child, going back usually just unsettles the child further. The room educators will give you a call to let you know if there are any issues, and if you'd like to check in, please phone any time.
4) What to wear? Please dress your child in comfortable play clothes - they will play outside, and in the sandpit, and do a variety of activities, so please don't send them in their 'Sunday best'! In accordance with our SunSmart policy, all dresses, tops and shirts should have sleeves so that children's shoulders are covered - no strappy sun dresses please. Please send a spare change of clothing in case there are any accidents or spillages. No slip on shoes e.g. Crocs or thongs please, as children often slip over in these, especially when using play equipment. Runners or sandals with straps to hold them on are perfect. All items must be named.
5) Sun Protection - In accordance with our 'SunSmart Policy' your child must bring a broad-brimmed or legionnaires-type hat (labelled) to Preschool to be worn outdoors. It is also recommended that you apply 30+ sunscreen before or at arrival.
6) Food - we offer a hot meal at lunch time which we encourage all families to take up. We know that eating together is a wonderful way to build community, and our nutritionally balanced meals provided by Kids Gourmet Foods (www.kidsgourmetfoods.com.au) are cooked, snap chilled, delivered to us and served within a 24 hour timeframe. The meals are made from scratch daily and contain no nasties such as additives or preservatives. There is a $3.30 / child charge to be included in the meal option, which is added to your daily fees.
7) Ongoing parent involvement - we love our parents to be as involved as they like with the centre. Whether coming to share a skill or talk about their profession, helping with garden or other maintenance, or offering encouragement and feedback to the staff and leadership, your input is very much welcomed. Please let us know if there's any way you would like to be involved.