Here you will find some useful tips for the first day at pre-school that will help make the experience more enjoyable for your little one and you.
Ask the pre-school for an orientation day before the first day of school so you and your child/ren can familiarise yourself with the new surroundings.
Leave enough time in the morning for your child to get ready, have a breakfast and get dressed. If possible, make preparations the evening before so you do not have to rush or risk being late on the first day.
Maintain a routine at home. If you and your family have arrived in Dubai recently, all of you have had a lot of changes to deal with. It is very important that your child settles into the new circumstances and that life at home is back to its regular daily rhythm with meal times, bed times, play time etc. This will also make it easier for your child to embark on the exciting experience of joining school for the first time.
Talk positively about the school with your child, how much fun it will be and all the new friends your child will make. Take your child on a tour of the school so they can become familiar with the new surroundings before the first day. Read a book with your child about starting school.
If possible, arrive early on the first day so your child can settle in slowly and have some more face time with the teacher before all the other children arrive in class. Stay in class for a little while if the pre-school allows so your child can gradually feel more secure in their new surroundings.
Let your child start school at their own pace as they will know best. Sometimes children have enough confidence to stay the whole day from day one. Some children may need a few days to settle in and start with only a few hours and days in the first week to feel comfortable and happy.
Show your child your ‘happy face’, even though you may feel full of anxiety. Be confident, happy and upbeat – as this will reflect on your child.
If supported by the pre-school, bring along your child’s favourite toy or comfort object so the new surroundings will be associated with comfort and safety.
When it is time to say good-bye, keep it short and sweet – give your child a hug and let them know that you will come back to pick them up again and then leave. However, do not ‘sneak out’ as that will make your child feel insecure and less trusting. Children react to separation but experienced pre-school teachers and learning assistants see this all the time and know what to do. Do not hesitate to ask one of our teachers for support if needed. Every child is different but they will all settle into their new circumstances eventually.
Last but not least, a good parent-teacher partnership is an important factor in your child settling in. You can also leave your mobile number with your child’s class teacher in case they need to contact you.