Are you ready for big school?

early literacy

With school well and truly back now in Australia, many families are thinking about or have just started childcare for the younger members of the family.

This can be an exciting but also daunting time. A good way to prepare yourself is to make sure things will be as familiar as possible for your child. For babies and toddlers, this means bringing the same bedding as you use at home. We have explained this further below along with some helpful information so you are prepared for this next step.

Here in our nursery (also known as the Tadpoles room) at Nestle In Alstonville, you can be confident that your little one is in the best possible care available on the Northern Rivers. With a purpose-built environment, we accommodate for ages 0 – 2 years. In the Tadpoles room, we make the transition into care as smooth as possible, providing care that caters for each child’s individual routine as well as supporting the development of each child.

sand play

With a mix of soft area’s consisting of carpet and cushions to the hard floor areas – all set up to support and encourage developing children both safely and securely.

Whether you are a new parent or curious as to how we operate at Nestle In; we encourage parents to visit our centre for a “day in the life” of their child. During this visit, you can experience the Tadpoles environment and gain a better understanding of how we can accommodate to your little one’s routine. This will help parents feel more secure and confident in your choice of care for your child.

Our nursery program reflects and encourages the children’s milestones; this includes addressing attachments issues, self-help skills and gross motor skills such as sitting, crawling and walking.

Children learn from cause and effect experiences, such as “If I do this, that will happen”. From here our program flows into early literacy. Such things as picture books, simple songs, rhymes, labelling items in their environment and finger plays are integrated into their daily routine. Along with early numeracy activities such as counting 1,2,3 to stacking blocks and cups is encouraged.

In the Nestle In Alstonville, nursery creativity is also widely promoted. Extensively developing their young minds through the use of finger painting, small/thick brush painting, sand, water and play dough - all great sensory activities.

Below we have outlined a few and helpful tips that may help you when just starting out at our daycare centre.

The first and most important tip is to make sure you show your child how excited you are about them starting childcare. Reinforce and talk to your child about how much fun they will have meeting new friends and learning new games. Reassure them that after meeting and playing with their new friends that Mummy or Daddy will come to pick them up. It is important that your child sees you being positive about childcare and not worrying.

Secondly, it's encouraged to start with a short orientation period. The majority of nurseries that we have come across and heard about from clients also advocate this. It is important that you visit the nursery alone before making the final decision to see if you are happy for your child to attend that nursery. We also encourage a discussion with the director to discuss your parenting philosophies and ensure they will do their best to match these as best as they can in the childcare environment.

When you take your child for their first visit some parents like to stay at the nursery the whole time. You may like to encourage your child to go off and join in the activities with the other children but try to always stay in sight. It is also important to help encourage the initial meeting with the people who will be your child’s new carers and allow those carers to introduce themselves to your child.

The second time you visit the nursery some parents like to stay with your child for a short time and then aim to leave your child at the nursery for an hour or two and then collect them. A very important tip is to never sneak off without saying goodbye to your child. While it may seem like the easy option to sneak out the door while your child is involved happily in an activity your child will eventually look up to see if you are watching. If you have disappeared your child may spend the next hour upset and looking for you. It is better to have a few tears when saying goodbye than for your child to get upset when they realise you are missing.

Depending on how your child is coping you may continue with these short visits for the first 3 or 4 times you leave your child at childcare before attempting a full day. However, if your child is coping well then you may only need to do 1 or 2 of the short stays.

Other than the initial settling in the process the other worry I hear from parents is ‘will all my hard work in establishing a feeding and self-settling routine be ruined by childcare’. Generally, it won’t be ruined but your child will need to learn that there will be one set of rules for childcare and one set for home.

For more information on the Tadpoles 0 – 2 years program, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 02 6628 1837 at a time convenient to you.