Tips for starting kindergarten

There are lots of things you can do to prepare your child for kindergarten.

Over the summer holidays

  • Be positive - talk to your child about what they will do at kindergarten.
  • Borrow library books about kindergarten to read together.
  • Encourage your child to dress themselves, so they can manage tasks like taking their jumper on and off.
  • Visit the kindergarten or travel past it on your route home.
  • Label all belongings that your child will take to kinder.
  • Read over the family information the kindergarten provided to ensure everything is prepared.
  • Talk to your child and establish a good bye routine together.
  • Establish a routine for kindergarten mornings – this could include a chart with pictures outlining the different steps for getting ready.
  • Organise holiday play dates with friends or children who will be going to the kindergarten.
  • Create a routine around sleep - five-year-olds need 10 to 12 hours sleep each night. Practice sticking to bedtime and wake up schedules in the weeks leading up to the start of kinder.

On the first day of kindergarten

  • Talk to your child about what to expect and when you will pick them up.
  • Follow the kindergarten’s instructions about what to bring (e.g. sun hat, spare clothes).
  • Prepare the night before, lay out clothing you both agree on and pack their bag together.
  • Encourage your child to follow your morning routine and remind them of next steps.
  • Talk to the kindergarten teacher about how you would like to settle your child in (e.g. you may want to stay for a while.)
  • If you are having trouble separating from your child, ask the kindergarten teacher or educators to help you.
  • Make sure you say good bye – disappearing quietly can cause greater distress and mistrust.
  • Ensure you are on time at the end of the session to pick up your child.
  • Be enthusiastic and positive.
  • At the end of the day talk to your child about what happened during the day.