How to Prepare Your Child for Preschool in Sydney During the Pandemic
If you and your child were one of the families staying away from preschool because of the COVID-19, then returning to daycare can be daunting, for both parent and child. Many families chose to keep their little ones away out of fear of contraction of the virus or due to possible symptoms/contraction of the virus. Whatever the reason, the return can be difficult to adjust to, especially if your little one does not quite understand what is happening. If not dealt with properly, your child may be irritable or anxious in school. Remember, times have changed and unfortunately, Sydney, along with the rest of New South Wales is enduring a resurgence of cases, making the COVID-19 guidelines, even more important to follow.
At Young Academics, we have outlined some of the new measures that we will be undertaking in our preschool in order to ensure that your children and our team are safe. With these measures in our preschool and others around New South Wales, your child will have to get accustomed to the ‘new normal’ and going to preschool during a pandemic. So, what do you do? You prepare your little one.
Sydney families, prepare your children for preschool during a pandemic with these tips
Explain what is happening in Australia
Your child may not fully understand what is happening in the country. It’s hard for some adults to grasp, so prepare to have to consistently explain to your child about the virus, the threat it poses and the situation in their state. Briefly, Australia seemed to have been near the end of COVID-19, however, it came back. Your child may be confused about this and may not understand why their preschool is different or why they have to continue with the social distancing. A simple discussion about the situation will clear the air and prevent your child from internalising the wrong information from other children at the preschool.
Tell your child why they are returning to preschool
Families have kept their children home from preschool for a variety of reasons including, fear of contraction, ability to stay home with them or self-isolation due to a sick person (flu-like symptoms or positive for COVID-19). Your child may not understand that circumstances have changed and that they now have to return to school. When children do not have information like this, they can feel out of control, which results in them being nervous or angry to return to preschool. Sit down with your child and calmly explain why they are returning to preschool. It will go a long way in their initial behaviour and attitude towards school.
Brief your child on hand hygiene
At preschool, your child will be subject to more frequent hand washing and sanitisation than usual. At Young Academics, we started to enforce strict hand hygiene with our little ones from March, as this is an effective way of stopping the spread of the COVID-19. While we will do our best to explain why this has to happen, it is best if parents help at home. Explain to your child that this is an effective way of not getting sick and practise frequent hand washing at home. This way, it won’t be a surprise to them when they are made to frequently wash their hands at daycare.
Help your child understand the concept of social distancing
At all of our Young Academics centres, we will be physical distancing as much as possible. This means that your child will have to be at least 1.5 metres away when playing games or sitting for storytime–something they may not understand. You may not be social distancing at home and so, your child will probably find the concept at preschool extremely strange. Explain to your child that physical distancing helps to stop the spread of the virus. A simple explanation will help them to understand and expect this at preschool.
Prepare them for smaller classes (possibly change in kids)
Many children are still staying away from preschool, some of whom may include their friends. Explain to your child that there may be fewer children at preschool, including their friends. If you have the phone numbers of their friends’ parents, then by all means, call and confirm if they will be at preschool. This way, your child can either expect to not have their friend there or, look forward to seeing them.
At Young Academics, rest assured that we are trying our hardest to ensure that your child is kept clean and safe during this scary time. All members of our staff are dedicated to reducing the risk at our centres by strictly adhering to the guidelines mentioned in our COVID-19 response.
Let us know if your child is nervous or anxious about returning to preschool. We’ll try our best to speak to them as well and check in with them throughout the day, ensuring that they are comfortable and calm in their environment.
For more information about our centre, contact us today on 1300 668 993.
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