Tuesday, 25 February 2020

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Your child's learning journey all starts at kindy

Starting kindergarten is huge first step for a child, not to mention a parent. It comes with excitement, nervousness and all the anticipation of what lies ahead in the learning years that will follow.

Typically, all our early childhood education providers in Mercury Bay are filled with talented people who care deeply about the welfare and progress of every child they have the privilege of looking after. If you are anxious about making this first big decision in your child’s school journey, then don’t be, you are unlikely to get it wrong.

What can be worth investigating is if homebased care will be more suitable than a kindy, how a particular kindy operates, what does a typical day look like, are there strict rules for behaviour, is there a structured programme or is the focus more on free play. Bear in mind there are no right or wrong answers, it’s more about choosing a place that is a good fit for you and your child.

Most centres welcome and encourage parent involvement, however, if you don’t have a lot of time to spend at kindy, what other ways do they keep families up to date? Is there a Facebook page or a newsletter? These may all be just small considerations, but they are worth thinking about and discussing with the manager or head teacher so you can decide what will work best for your family. A really great way to get a feel for how a centre operates is to go and spend some time there. Most will offer the opportunity for visits before you enrol. Take the time to chat to staff and other parents, don’t be afraid to ask questions and, at the end of the day, if it feels right, it probably is. Don’t overthink it too much.

One other thing that might be worth investigating is the relationship between the early childhood centre and the primary school your child will be attending. There is growing emphasis on the importance of the transition between kindy and school in terms of how well students adapt and ultimately succeed. A good working relationship between your child’s early childhood centre and the primary school your child will be attending is likely to mean an easy and smooth transition process. That relationship could mean communication between teachers at both schools, occasional visits or attending each other’s events. The nature of this cooperation can of course be dependent on other factors like distance and staffing, however, ideally there will be some degree of contact and communication.

The most important thing of all to remember it to enjoy your child’s kindergarten years. Anyone who has already been down this road realises just how quickly the time passes and before you even know it, you are stressing about things like subject choices and NCEA results. These really are precious years and with the support of the staff and teachers at the excellent early childhood education providers in Mercury Bay, they will be filled with fun, memories to treasure and lots of wonderful learning.

See the advertisements in this week's issue of The Informer to learn more about Riverlee Early Learning Centre, Mercury Bay Preschool, Inspired Kindergartens Home Based Education, Kuaotunu Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten, Central Kids Mercury Bay Kindergarten, Kauri Learners Early Education and Peanuts Childcare & Edecation Centre Whitianga.

Pictured: Whitianga residents, Mateo Shute and Letti Kennedy, managed to fit in some summer holiday camping before returning to kindy for another exciting year.

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