Tips to Prepare Your Child for the First Day of Preschool

Starting preschool in Singapore is a thrilling and emotional milestone, not just for excited parents but also for an apprehensive child. It is easy to forget that our children may be more nervous about heading to preschool for the first time than they let on.

What are some ways that parents can make the first day of preschool less stressful and more of a pleasant experience?

Preparing your child mentally

Pre-empt your child’s concerns. The best way to meet them head on is to be open and talk about it frequently. It may help to make some visits to the preschool or childcare with your child if the school permits, so that the place becomes familiar.

Talk to your child about what to expect and what will happen while they are in school. This will help to mentally prepare them for this exciting new experience, while keeping the element of fear and unpleasant surprise away.

Remind your child of the fun aspects as well – that there will be new friends and new toys to play with, and teachers who will take care of them. 

Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse

Getting used to school routines

If your child is a late riser, it may help to start shifting their bedtime earlier and waking them at the time they will need to get up on a usual school day to get them used to their new daily schedule.

Familiarise your child with their new school uniform and remove uncomfortable tags if any. Encourage your child to self-feed more often during mealtimes. While there will certainly be teachers to help the children eat, part of preschool is to learn to be a little more independent. 

Let your child be involved in packing their own bags

Knowing what your child has in their bags can also help reduce the uncertainty during the day. Perhaps they have a favourite little toy that they can bring along, particularly if they have a comfort item that can ease them into naptime away from home.

Explain the different items to your child – an extra set of clothes, their favourite snack and water bottle, a hand towel – and why they will need them. This gives your child a sense of ownership over their own items, and if they need anything from their bag during the day, they will remember that it is there waiting for them. 

Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse

Be punctual for school

Don’t let the school day start with anxiety, for both parent and child. Being late means rushing, and it means that your child may enter the classroom when lessons are already in full swing.

If you get to the school early, you and your child can take a leisurely stroll around the place before the other children start streaming in. You can also familiarise yourselves with the different parts of the school together, making it a less stressful start for both you and your child on the first day.

Saying goodbye when school starts

Be mentally prepared, yourself, that there may be tears or tantrums when it is time for you to leave.

Validate your child's feelings in a positive and encouraging manner, and agree that you will miss them too, but that school is for children, and you cannot stay. Emphasise to your child that you will be back later to get them – try to give them a specific signpost, such as “after play time” or “after naptime”.

Above all, do not sneak off, as this can backfire and give your child constant anxiety that you might disappear at any time. Be confident and give them a loving hug, then keep your goodbye short and sweet to minimise the anxiety in both of you. 

Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse

Communicate with your child and with their teachers

Crying and separation anxiety (for parents as well!) may continue for a few days, or even a couple of weeks for particularly sensitive children.

Continue to be soothing and chat with your child every day about what they have been doing in school. The best preschools in Singapore have their own way to communicate with parents, whether through a written journal or an in-house app.

At Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse, parent-teacher communication is done both face-to-face and via the LittleLives app so you can rest assured that teachers will keep you updated about your child’s development in school. 

Remember that every child is different (even between siblings) and each one takes a different amount of time to adjust to school and settle in. It is important to choose the best preschool for you and your child, where you feel comfortable dropping your child off, and with teachers whom you trust with your precious little one.

Book a tour to find out more about how Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse can support you and why our curriculum can bring out the best in your child. 

Feel free to reach out to us for any enquiries.


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