4 Preschool Transition Tips For Parents In SG

January 9, 2023

Enrolling in preschool is a major milestone for children in Singapore, and as parents you’ll want to ensure that the transition goes as smoothly as possible.

Whether they’re attending preschool for the first time or moving up a grade from nursery to kindergarten, changes to their daily schedules can cause distress. Young children often do not even fully understand why they have to bid goodbye to their favourite teachers and peers in order to move into a new classroom or school. This can lead to meltdowns, tantrums, and tears that are heart breaking for parents and children alike.

Thankfully, there are several ways that you can make this tumultuous period a little easier for the whole family. Here are 4 transition tips for preschool to ensure the experience is a positive one for your child.

1. Introduce new information and routines ahead of time

Children love routines, and can react very strongly to being surprised with new information. Start introducing them to the new details, routines, and everyday tasks they’ll experience in preschool several months before their enrolment date. This can mean changing their daily activity roster to mirror their preschool schedule, reassuring them that mum and dad will come back for them at the end of the day, or even leaving them at a trusted caretaker’s house to gauge their reaction to being left at school.

At the same time, nursery or kindergarten is often the first time that parents are away from their children for more than an hour, or even for a whole day. Establishing a new routine around what a typical preschool day looks like can also help parents cope with the change and feel a little less sad when the big day eventually arrives.

2. Encourage independence and self-help skills

Learning how to be independent is a key part of growing up, and preschool is definitely a first step to fostering those self-sufficiency skills in your child. When they’re at school, they’ll most likely be asked to do several tasks on their own such as removing and putting on their shoes, opening their own snacks, going to the toilet on their own, and taking necessities out of their backpack.

Prepare them for these tasks by turning them into fun activities within their daily routine. Kindergarten-age children can even attempt more sophisticated tasks such as holding pencils, practicing writing, or putting on clothing with buttons like their uniform. These skills improve their fine and gross motor skills, and instil confidence in your child that they will be able to do the same in a preschool setting.

3. Create a safe space for communication and reflection

Your toddler will surely have some Big Feelings about entering preschool, and it’s important to provide them with a time, place, and space where they can feel comfortable expressing those feelings. This helps them work on their communication skills and improve their emotional regulation as they process what they’ve experienced at school.

Offer specific prompts over dinner or bedtime, such as “Did you play any games today?” or “What did you learn in English class?” rather than “What did you do at school?”. This gives them a starting point to begin discussing their day, as opposed to a broad question that can overwhelm them as they want to tell you everything about their day.

4. Visit the school

If possible, it’s best to arrange for a visit to the school together with your child. Take this opportunity to introduce them to the new environment and people, and ask if you can observe how a typical class is carried out. Giving your child a preview of what their day will look like can make the transition a lot less scary, especially for children who are more apprehensive towards change or new experiences.

MindChamps welcomes families to arrange a visit to our centres in order to introduce them to the highlights of our nursery, kindergarten, and preschool programmes in Singapore. Our infant care, child care, and preschool programmes are based on the latest early childhood education pedagogy, and our instructors strive to provide your child with an engaging and supportive environment where they can learn, grow, and develop throughout their early years.

We use a 3-Mind Approach that seeks to nurture your child’s Champion Mind, Learning Mind, and Creative Mind even at a young age. This equips them with active learning skills and a love for lifelong learning that will continue on even after they have left our preschool programme. Our S.M.I.L.E.S methodology also incorporates Sensory, Motor, Intellectual, Linguistic, Emotional, and Social skills to encourage holistic learning and development for your child.

Get in touch with us for more information or to arrange a visit at a MindChamps PreSchool near you.