You can prepare your child for school ahead of time by telling him/her what to expect. You could, for example, tell your child stories about going to school
If you have someone who already has a child at the Early Learning Center, it might help to get your children together at home before school starts. It can be very comforting to already have a friend at school.
The First Week
Days 1, 2 and 3
We suggest that you come to school after the initial rush, around 9 a.m., and stay with your child for about an hour or longer and then leave together with your child. Still safe in your presence, your child can explore the school and get used to the routine. Your child will probably feel safer once she knows what to expect.
Days 4 and 5
After a few days we suggest that you stay with your child for less time. When your child seems settled, you can tell him/her that you will leave them at school while you run out to do some shopping. Be sure to tell your child that you will be right back and will return to school after about a half and hour.
Depending on how quickly your child adjusts, you may need to follow this type of routine for a few days, staying away a little longer each time. The idea during this transition is to help your child understand that you will always be back to pick him/her up.
We ask parents not to sneak out while your child is not looking. When your child realizes you’re gone, he/she may panic. They may also have difficulties trusting that you won’t “disappear” next time and will consequently go to great lengths to keep you from leaving.
One final note – we must realize that each child is different and that no single approach can guarantee success, certainly not in such a multi-cultural setting. Each child will adjust at his/her own pace.
We hope that you will share your thoughts and feelings with us.