Preparing your child for pre-school
You will probably be sent information about your pre-school setting with basic details and procedures. You need to be aware of these so that your child is equipped and dressed as requested. Young children do like to fit in, particularly when they first start. It is likely that your child has already had taster sessions that went well so hopefully he should be looking forward to going, particularly if he has friends there.
When you talk with your child about going to the pre-school give him space and time to bring up any concerns he may have: often these surprise the adult because they seem trivial but they must be taken seriously and talked about in a supportive manner. Go at the child's pace and do not transfer any anxiety you may be feeling to him by putting him under pressure to think about his new setting, he will talk about it when he is ready. Show him by your conversation and gestures that he is valued and that you are very proud of him.
When he attends a pre-school
Try not to worry about the targets he is achieving and be careful to avoid any conversation that puts him under pressure. He may worry if a friend seems to be doing better then he is, even little children can be aware of this and you should take the time to explain to him how everyone is different and good at something, pointing out to him what he does well. He needs to have his confidence built up so that he can accept that sometimes he may do less well than others at a task, and be ready to have another go at it. The concept of failure should not figure in a young child's awareness and all adults involved with him should adopt a positive attitude to what he does whether it is completely successful or not. He should be encouraged to learn from what he has done and to try again without anxiety.
This same positive attitude should be taken to his speech so he does not feel that he is not as good as other children. You can talk about this with him if he seems bothered at all, by pointing out how some children have problems with their sight, their hearing, their legs, while he sometimes finds it difficult to speak as he wants to do. In an inclusive pre-school he should be aware of diversity through his own experiences and that should help him to maintain a relaxed attitude to his speaking.
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Text for this page: Preparing your child for pre-school
Text for this whole section: What your pre-school staff need to know to help your child