While there are many benefits for children to take advantage of when attending preschool, spending their time alone in a strange environment can be overwhelming at first. Here is what you can do to make sure that they feel safe and secure on their first day of preschool and beyond:
Meet With the Staff First
It's important that your little one gets to know and trust the adults who will be taking care of them while you aren't there before sending off to their first day of preschool. So, the first thing that should be done after enrolling your child in preschool is to schedule an appointment to meet with the staff.
This will give you and your child the opportunity to interact with each staff member and create some camaraderie before the first day of school. Your little one will see that you trust the staff and interact with them in a positive way, so they'll be more likely to feel safe when finally left alone with them at preschool.
Spend Time There Together
It's also a good idea to schedule a couple of visits during regular preschool hours so you and your child can spend time there together before they're left alone on their first official day of school. Eat lunch together with the other kids, spend some time playing on the playground outside, and participate in story time if possible. Spending a half or full day at the preschool together should help your child feel more confident about facing a day there alone in the near future.
Set up Play Dates for Home
To make sure that your little one already has friends to play with and trust on their first day of preschool, get a hold of other parents whose kids go to the facility and set up a few play dates for home. In the weeks leading up to their first day of school, your little one can get to know other students in the comfort of their own home and make new friends before starting their first day of preschool.
Pack a Comfort Bag for School
Another way to make sure that your child feels comfortable alone at preschool is to pack a comfort bag for them to bring along. Pack their favorite blanket, a special toy, a piece of clothing they love to sleep in for nap time, and a book or two that they enjoy reading at home. Ask the staff to store the comfort bag in a back room and to pull something out and give it to your child if they start feeling upset or uncomfortable while alone at school.
With these tips and tricks in use, it should be easy to make your little feel good about embarking on their first day of preschool. Educators at preschools like the Country Day School can give you more tips.