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Starting Kindergarten: Tips for a Smooth Transition 

For every child, the transition to kindergarten is a significant milestone. Regardless of whether your child has been in an Early Childhood Education (ECE) setting or if kindergarten will be their first time in a structured learning environment, the transition often comes with a mix of emotions including excitement and anxiety for the entire family. It’s a big deal! If your child is heading to kindergarten this fall, there are resources and actions your family can take advantage of this summer to prepare for a smooth transition.

Establish Routines: Start implementing a consistent daily routine similar to the one they’ll experience in kindergarten, including a regular bedtime and wake-up time.

Leverage Supports: If your child is enrolled in an early learning program, take full advantage of the support provided to enhance your child’s learning and development. Engaging with available resources, such as parent workshops, family events, and one-on-one meetings with teachers, can provide valuable insights and strategies for supporting your child’s growth at home and in the classroom.

At CHS we utilize these supports by providing Family Success Advocates to help create a strong partnership between families and educators, ensuring a cohesive and nurturing environment that promotes your child’s success and well-being.

Encourage Independence: Work on self-help skills such as dressing, using the restroom, and washing hands independently.

Talk About It: Have conversations about kindergarten, listen to your child’s feelings and concerns, and reassure them with positive reinforcement.

Playdates: If possible, arrange playdates with children who will be in the same kindergarten class to build friendships in advance.

Visit the School: Take advantage of the activities and events that schools offer to acclimate children to their new environment before their first day, including seeing their classroom, meeting their teacher(s), and interacting with future classmates. Make sure the school has any necessary information about your child, including any additional needs. It’s also a great opportunity to get involved with the new school and its activities.

Prepare Together: Involve your child in the preparation, such as picking out a backpack, clothing, or helping to pack their lunch.

Stay Positive: Keep a positive attitude about school and learning to inspire confidence and a positive outlook in your child (even if you have concerns).

Establish a Goodbye Ritual: Create a quick and reassuring goodbye ritual with your child to make parting easier when school starts. It could be a special handshake or making silly faces!

Keep Communication Open: Once school starts, talk to your child about their day and maintain open lines of communication with the teacher for updates on your child’s adjustment.

If kindergarten will be your child’s first exposure to early learning, you can also use resources to help you start your child’s learning journey at home this summer.

Lastly – don’t forget to celebrate the big day with activities such as a special breakfast, first day photographs, or a trip to the park at the end of the day. Congratulations! You did it!

Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning are subsidiaries of Milton Hershey School and will be staffed and operated independently of the Milton Hershey School core model.

Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.