Did you know the YMCA of Southern Nevada offers a state-licensed preschool program? We’re big believers in early childhood learning. If your child is entering a preschool program for the first time, here are some great tips for preparing them – and yourself – for this fun and exciting experience:
What Parents Can Expect at Preschool
Your child’s early years are critical to their personal growth. Preschool can be a great place for kids to learn to interact with peers, follow rules and share with others. It also prepares them academically for kindergarten and beyond. It isn’t unusual for parents to have mixed emotions about whether their child is ready for preschool. Understanding the role you play in your child’s comfort level can help.
Facing and Overcoming Fears
If you haven’t already, visit the preschool classroom with your child several times before they begin the program. Introduce them to the teacher, and let them observe some of the routine activities the other children participate in. For example, if your child loves to color, it can be helpful to show them they’ll get to do that at preschool. Parents should feel free to talk to the teacher about how first days are handled for kids who are apprehensive.
Learn to Let Go
Often, it’s the parents who are more anxious than the child. When you bring your child to the first day of preschool, be sure to reintroduce them to the teacher, and then take a step back. This allows the teacher to begin the process of forming a relationship with your child.
You can also help your child adapt more quickly by setting a routine that calms any fears they may have. Whether it’s a wave through the window as you leave, or a special toy packed in their backpack, the predictability helps ease the transition from home to school. Most children tend to do better once their parents leave the classroom.
Reach Out to Other Parents
Parents whose children have already entered or completed a preschool program are a wonderful resource. Some say their child dove right in and never looked back, but most would probably agree there was some jitters to calm in the beginning. Here are just a few of their suggestions:
- Let your child pick out a new backpack and be sure to put a few personal items in it, including a favorite book.
- If there’s a school visit day, be sure to participate.
- Arrange playdates with other children who will be in the preschool program.
Preschool Programs at the Y
In addition to our half-day sessions at the Centennial Hills, Durango Hills, and SkyView locations, the Y now offers a full-day preschool program to families who qualify at our Bill & Lillie Heinrich YMCA. Stop by one of our locations to learn more or register your child. We look forward to welcoming them to a whole new world of learning!