11 things you need to know about kindy
Too young, too early, too shy? My child is ready but I am not? Whatever your feelings are, starting Kindergarten is a major milestone, for kids and parents. We have talked to our awesome and dedicated staff at kindy, Nikki Chapman, Jodie Tasker, Jaye Bennett and Sarah Argent to answer the most common questions and get you prepared.
1) Who needs to enrol?
You can apply to enrol your children in public Kindergarten for 2018 if they are: 4 years old by 30 June 2018. Kindergarten is the start in the public School system – however it is not compulsory to enrol your child. (Click here for the school age calculator.) Kindergarten is the first year of formal schooling in Western Australia and while not compulsory it is highly recommend to enrol your child to get them used to the environment and prepare them for the daily routine.
2) Should I send my child to kindy?
You might feel you can teach your child just as well at home. Maybe the little one is kind of shy, young, small, immature for their age and you’d rather keep them at home another year.
Jodie explains, especially the children that are shy benefit from the kindy year. They can familiarise themselves with the school environment before they start formal schooling at Pre-Primary. Kindy is only five days per fortnight and as it is not compulsory so we encourage parents to discuss alternative finishing times or we adapt the program to meet their needs. As Pre-Primary will be five days of the week, it is important to get your child used to the routine before hand in a playful way. They also get to know their classroom, make friends and learn to be separated from their daily carers.
3) Does Ocean Road offer a three year old kindy / pre-kindy program?
Ocean Road does not offer a pre-kindy program. Public schools in WA don’t provide a formal education before the kindy year except in some designated aboriginal kindergartens.
4) What does my child need to know for kindy?
Your child should be able to do some things alone, or at least attempt to do so. It is nice if they can already open their lunchbox and ideally toilet training has been completed and they know how to pull their pants down and up again.
5) What is the daily routine at kindy?
Doors open 8:30am and parents are encouraged to stay until 8:45am. In the morning we have some inside activities – which are followed by a fruit break and outdoor play. From 11:30am until lunch (12:40pm) we are back inside with structured activities. The lunchbreak and outdoor play is from 12:40 until 2pm. Afternoon activities include reading, singing and rest. Pick up is at 3pm.
6) I work until 5:30 pm – how do I manage kindy pick up?
Jaye: Numerous before and after school care providers offer drop off and pick up.
7) What does my child learn at kindy?
Sarah: The focus is on social, emotional, pre-literacy and pre-numeracy skills and physical development. Your child does not have to learn to write just yet. In kindy we start with drawing, scribbling and symbols that represent letters as well as writing random letters and numbers.
8) Does my child already need to know how to count or write?
Jodie: No don’t worry about teaching them the alphabet just yet. It does really help though if you have introduced your child to the concept of numbers and letters. Playing with Lego and Duplo is a great activity to introduce colours, shapes and numbers. All attempts at writing names, numbers and words are encouraged although most attempts don’t look like numbers or words. During the kindy year we’ll introduce your child to those basic concepts in a play environment.
9) How can I best prepare my child for kindergarten?
Jaye: It is a good idea to go and buy a school bag and a lunchbox together to get your child excited for kindergarten. It is more important to discuss what happens on the first days of school. Be honest when you drop your child off and tell him or her that you will pick them up after kindy. Don’t say: “I’ll wait outside! I’ll be back in five minutes.” Children are sad when they check and find out it is not true. If your child continues to be upset we will contact you.
10) My child already goes to daycare – why would I take him out of there and put him into kindy instead?
Nikki: There are a couple of reasons to prefer Kindergarten over daycare. Of course it is cheaper – more importantly though it offers consistency. At Ocean Road your child will always have the same educator – the staff turnover at daycare centres can often be quite high. All Ocean Road educators are fully trained as Early Childhood Teachers ensuring your child gets the best start- from the start.
11) If you feel your child is too young for Kindy.
Maybe you feel that your little one is kind of shy, young, small, immature for their age and you’d rather keep them at home another year. Does it happen that a child attending kindy turns out to be actually not ready yet?
Sarah: If your child is not settling into the routines of kindy we will work with the parents to alter the day. Sometimes children attend half days or attend 2 out of the 5 days to start with. It is still beneficial for them to attend to grow into the school routine as they get used to it slowly while it is not compulsory.
For all information all about public kindergarten please click here.