It is trendy at the moment for traditional long day care services or primary schools to use the term Pre-Kindergarten to describe care services for children. Most of the time these “pre-kindergarten programs” are just long day care rooms for children who are aged 3-5 years or a basic guided mother’s group at a school.
A true Pre-Kindy is an independent service offering play based education programs physically located at a school. These types of programs are the most advantageous to enrol your child in.
The main reason parents choose to send their child to a Pre Kindy is to give them opportunities to prepare for Kindergarten. This preparation takes many forms such as:
Social – making friends, meeting children who will attend the same school
Emotional – learning to be away from parents without being upset
Cognitive- learning the foundation skills such as pre- literacy, pre-numeracy etc.
Environmental – learning how a school works such as routines, structure and location
Attending a program in a school setting gets the children in a mindset that they are coming to school and are comfortable to see many children dressed in school uniform, hearing the bell signalling break times, get used to junior school playgrounds and equipment, and seeing the interactions between teachers and students. School based Pre Kindy programs take children on daily walks around the school such as to the library or recycling station. These walks help to familiarise the children with the school environment and how it all works. It is important to note that these advantages are relevant for your child regardless of the school they plan to attend.
All schools are similar in the way they operate so even if your child will attend a different school, they will still benefit from valuable learnings and exposure to a school environment.
Pre Kindys that are based at schools work closely with teachers in the primary education system, sharing knowledge and aligning teaching methods. At Playful Learners Pre Kindy we work closely with the Heathridge Primary School Kindergarten teacher to develop key skills to assist the children in their transition to Kindergarten. We follow our children’s progress as they move into Kindergarten and have found they are better prepared and ready to learn on day one of “big school”. Also, being located at a school also makes it easier for parents with older children who are able to have all their children dropped off and collected from the same location. For busy families this is real time saver at the start and end of a busy day!