Prepare for pre-school

21/02/2012 at 11:22 am | Posted in Preschool, Supernanny, Top Tips, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Prepare for preschool

Sending your little-one to preschool is a huge milestone!

We hope that this article will give you tips on how to prepare, making it an exciting and stress-free experience for all of you!

Let’s start by looking at some of the things you can do in the run up:

–  Time without Mummy & Daddy…

If your child isn’t used to being away from you, settling at pre-school will be a bigger hurdle. You can overcome this by gradually introducing time alone maybe with grandparents, friends or relatives. Start off with an hour or so whilst you run errands, increasing to a morning or afternoon once they’re comfortable with being away from you.

Learning to play…

It isn’t until children reach the age of three that they will begin playing together, rather than alongside each other. With a little guidance, they will learn how to share, take turns and make decisions. You can encourage this by stepping in to explain when they squabble over a toy. Lots of play dates or visits to toddler groups will give your little one the opportunity to practice socialising, which will help them to feel at ease in the pre-school environment. If they have already been going to nursery, it is likely that they have made a good start at developing their social skills!

Potty Training…

Some preschools will expect children to be potty trained before they start. If you don’t think your child will be ready, make sure that you discuss this to find out their policies. The staff will of course give gentle reminders to encourage little-ones to use the toilet but they will be prepared for the occasional accident. Make sure you pack a change of underwear / clothes and explain to your child that no one will be cross if they do have an accident.

Feeding themselves…

If your little-one will be eating at pre-school, ask whether they will be expected to use a knife and fork. If so, you can practice at home! Of course the carers will cut up their food for them; they will not be expected to do this. Remember that you will need to tell the pre-school staff about any strong dislikes or food allergies your child has.

Positive Encouragement…

Be positive about the preschool, the activities, the carers and the other children. Listen out for your child expressing any worries they have so that you can talk about them in advance. You can borrow some books from the library about starting pre-school which will give your child the opportunity to understand what will happen. Expand on this by talking about friends and family who have started pre-school and also about the fun activities they’ll enjoy doing… singing rhymes, painting pictures, playing with sand and water, baking cakes, etc.


Now let’s look at the things you can do when they are about to start:

Make the surroundings familiar…

Once you’ve visited the pre-school you think you will choose, take your child along to see how they respond to the atmosphere and how the carers interact with them. Once you’re happy that you’ve made the best choice and visit as many times as you wish with your child before they start so that they can familiarise themselves with the environment. Most pre-schools will then let you leave your child for short periods of time which can be slowly increased. You should also find out the daily routine of the nursery so that you can describe it to your child during a day at home, e.g. “Now it’s your lunchtime and you’d be eating lunch at nursery too”, “you’ll be singing rhymes at nursery right about now”, etc.

Have a routine…

Children of all ages thrive on knowing what is coming next. Once you know the daily routine of the nursery, you could follow it at home for a while before they start so that it becomes familiar. Also try to establish a routine before school and stick to it. This way there is no confusion for your little-one and they know where they stand!

Encourage confidence…

  • Even though you are likely to feel as anxious as your little-one does, stay cheery and confident otherwise they will sense your feelings of anxiety.
  • Also explain when you will be back and don’t be tempted to twist the truth by saying something like “mummy will be back in a minute” – be honest, you might say “mummy will be back after lunch or after story-time”. If someone else will be collecting them on a particular day, always make sure they know who to expect.
  • Make sure that the staff have your contact number in case they need to call you. Don’t be afraid to call once you’ve left if you’re anxious about how your little one is settling in. The staff will always be happy to reassure an anxious parent!
  • When it’s time for you to go, don’t linger as this will make it harder for your child.

Welcome home…

It’s essential that your child has a warm welcome home with your undivided attention. Cuddle on the sofa or share a snack together whilst you chat cheerily about their day without being too quizzical, and remember to ‘be positive’!


You might also like to introduce a sticker reward chart as this is a great way to encourage toddlers. If they have a good day, give them a sticker and once they have collected five, do or buy something as a treat!



For individual advice you can get in touch with our Supernanny – Chelsea –  Call 020 7193 5256 or email:


You might also like to visit our website


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