Knowing the primary schools within your schooling zone is an important first step in preparing your child’s transition into kindergarten. Enrolments opened in June 2020, so now is a great time to research and apply for enrolment at the school of your choice.
If your child has been attending an early learning centre, you can ask them for a Child Profile which outlines your child’s developmental journey. This profile can assist your child’s new teachers in getting to know your child and assist in a smooth transition.
At the time of enrolment you will need to provide a copy of your child’s up-to-date Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). This register is created automatically when you complete your child’s immunisation schedule. Find out how to obtain a copy of your child’s AIR.
For more information on schooling zones and enrolment procedures, visit the Department of Education.
Little brains need large amounts of nutrition to keep them going. What children eat in their lunch box plays a crucial role in their learning and progress at school. Below are 10 tips to help with healthy lunch box preparation:
- Pick a lunch box your child will like. This may be their favourite colour or have their favourite cartoon character illustrated, they do not need to be costly.
- Trial opening and closing their lunch box before starting school. Some lunch boxes can be difficult for young children to open leading to kids avoiding their lunch or feeling anxiety when it’s lunch time.
- Make time to prepare a week of lunches. This includes time to go grocery shopping (buying enough to last the week) and to wrap and freeze appropriate food items.
- Make your own healthy snacks using ingredients you can buy in bulk such as oat bars and muffins.
- Pack their lunch box the night before school and keep the food in the fridge overnight.
- Search lunch box ideas and recipes online. Websites such as Crunch&Sip and the Raising Children Network have lots of recipe ideas.
- Include a range of coloured fruit and vegetables.
- Ask your school if they are a Crunch&Sip school. Crunch&Sip schools have a set time during the day when the students are allows to eat vegetables or fruit and drink water in the classroom.
For further information on lunchbox nutrition, read the Packed with Goodness 2019 booklet.
Implementing a morning and after school routine can help your child feel supported during their transition into school and throughout their schooling life. Routines are a great way for all members of your household to know what is ahead for the day, feel safe and secure and develop healthy life skills. Children usually enjoy being involved in school routines as they can demonstrate their independence skills. Tasks such as packing their bag or putting on their school hat are simple ways to support their self-help skills and build confidence.
Before school routine tasks may include:
- brush teeth
- get dressed
- make bed
- pack lunch box in school bag
- hugs goodbye.
After school routine tasks may include:
- unpack school bag
- healthy snack
- change clothes
- free time.
You may like to create a school morning reward chart using stickers or coloured pens to mark off tasks once they are complete. This offers praise and positive reinforcement for your child.
The final tip for setting school routines is that a stress-free morning starts the night before. Being prepared the night before school can make a big difference and take pressure off school mornings, making them more enjoyable. You may like to prepare school uniforms, have lunches made and pack spare underwear or pull ups in the school bag the night before.
Toilet training is a common a stressor for parents and guardians as they prepare their child to start school. Knowing the signs of your child being ready to start toileting, along with consistent toileting practices, can assist you and your child to have positive toilet training experiences. Your local child health nurse is also available to assist with any toilet training concerns you may have at your child’s two years check-up.
Before you start toileting, it may also be helpful to decide whether you will use a toilet or potty, and to implement a rewards system. Both have varying pros and cons, therefore, doing a bit of research can help you choose the right one for your lifestyle.
Once you have decided you and your child are ready to commence toilet training, it is important to start during a time when you will not have any big changes such as moving house or having a baby. This ensures a consistent and secure routine for your child.
Signs your child show if they are ready to start toileting include, but are not limited to:
- Have dry nappies for up to two hours
- Starts disliking wearing a nappy and pulls it off when wet or soiled
- Can pull his/her pants up and down
- Shows interest when others go to the toilet
- Can tell you they need to wee or poo through words or gestures.
Starting toilet training tips:
- It is recommended to start training on a day you have no plans to leave home.
- Look out for signs that your child needs to go to the toilet. For example, your child may go quiet, move behind the sofa, or change the way they stand.
- Embed toilet breaks into your daily routine. It is recommended you take your child to the toilet 20-30 minutes after eating.
- Encourage and praise your child for trying if they don’t do a wee or a poo.
- Gently remind them about the toilet throughout the day.
- If an accident happens, stay calm and clean it up without showing your frustration.
- Dress your child in clothes that are easy to take off.
- Remember toileting takes time.
It’s important to remember that starting school can occasionally lead to a regression with toileting as children begin to cope with a new environment. You can help them by ensuring they know where the toilets at school are and by encouraging them to let their teacher know if they need to use the toilet.
If you would like additional information or support on toilet training, Ngala Rockingham deliver workshops throughout the year. To see if there is a workshop being delivered near you, visit the Child and Parent Centre (East Waikiki) or Ngala Rockingham.
Starting kindergarten is a big transition and change for children and their families. You may notice your child having mixed emotions leading up to starting school and they may show signs of feeling anxious. As parents/guardians, there are things we can do to support our children and guide them in managing these feelings. Below are a few tips:
- Show your child lots of love and reassure them by being enthusiastic and excited when talking about school/kindergarten.
- Attend a transition into school program at your school if there is one available. This provides opportunities to make connections with fellow classmates prior to school starting.
- Have conversations and read books together about understanding emotions.
- Look after yourself as a parent/guardian and chat to a friend such as fellow parent if you are feeling a little sad yourself..
If you would like additional information or support on managing emotions, Ngala Rockingham delivers workshops throughout the year. To see if there is a workshop being delivered near you, contact the Child and Parent Centre (East Waikiki) or Ngala Rockingham.
Preparing for school is a great opportunity to visit your local child health nurse to have a developmental check-up and to see if your child’s immunisations are up to date.
Child and Adolescent Community Health’s child health service provides a free universal service to families with children from birth to school age. To promote the health, wellbeing and appropriate growth and development of children in Western Australia, child health services are available at critical times in a child’s development. The child health nurse uses the Ages and Stages Questionnaire screening tool to monitor the development of children and identify those who have, or are at risk of, any developmental delay. Early detection and intervention of developmental delay improves long-term outcomes and starts preparing your child for school. For more information, please refer to your child’s purple book, or call 1300 749 869.
To book an appointment to have your child’s immunisations given at a Community Health Clinic nearby, contact 9419 2266.