Don't lose children to nursery or pre-school
Do you lose children to nursery and pre-school at age 3 because parents think their child needs to go into a group provision before starting school? There are many advantages to keeping children in a childminding provision where they are happy and settled – but childminders might need to ‘sell’ the ways they support children to be ready for school to reassure parents first.
It is important to make sure parents know that you do not rush their child to be ready to school – it takes years of preparation! Let them know about all the activities you plan for their child and all the interventions that are part of your normal daily routines to ensure their child is ready to start school…
• Giving their child confidence to separate from their main carer
• Promoting independence to get themselves dressed and take themselves to the toilet
• Supporting their learning characteristics so they are motivated, engaged and eager to learn
• Teaching manners and how to speak to adults and children
• Encouraging friendliness
• Teaching self-help skills
Talk to teachers at local schools
Ask the teachers at your local school what skills they hope new starters have learned and then you can confidently say to parents ‘we have spoken to the reception teacher at your child’s future school and these are the skills s/he values’ … then you can go on to talk about the ways you promote them!
Every year we send children from our provision to school eager to learn, independent, happy, confident and looking forward to their new adventure. We prepare them through play – playful activities which teach them the skills and knowledge they will need to cope well in a busy classroom. The non-academic parts of Early Years Outcomes are our starting points … we include phonics games and maths awareness in our activities of course, but our first priorities are to establish personal, social and development and communication and language alongside physical development.
Our feeder schools have always commented on children’s love of books and songs … that’s because we read to them and sing with them every session from the first day they start here! Reception teachers also say they know the children who have been with a childminder because they are confident when asking for things and manage playtimes well because they have been taken on lots of outings and always socialised with other children from an early age.
Read our free guides for gold members
The new Childcare.co.uk school readiness guides take you through every month of the year before the child starts school. They include activity ideas to help you incorporate all aspects of maths, literacy, phonics (Letters and Sounds phase 1) etc in your daily routines but the focus is on preparing children by ensuring their learning is established across all the areas of learning of the EYFS.
It is really important that you promote what you do to parents – let them know that their child is receiving all the school preparation activities they need to be ready for September … reassure them that the transition process should not be rushed … chat about the teacher’s expectations … share what you are doing with them and suggest activities they might like to try with their child at home … be positive about how much you do with the children and explain what they are learning through the day … give them a copy of the ‘preparing for school’ letters every month which contain information about how you are preparing their child for school and ideas for home learning … promote school readiness through play to parents!
Download the ‘Preparation for School’ guides
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