School Readiness - Prepare your children for school

Don't lose children to nursery or pre-school

Do you lose children to the local pre-school or school nursery 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 setting 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 parents 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 early years setting 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.

During their time in our early years setting, the children have played letters and sounds games ... they have gained maths awareness through our activities and songs and rhymes ... they have explored the letters that make up the alphabet through playful games. The children who leave our setting for school are powerful thinkers and individuals with excellent speech, language and communication skills and strong 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 recently updated school readiness guides take you through every month of the year before the child starts school.

It is 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 every month and use them to help you plan

Read the School Preparation guides including Teaching the Alphabet, Maths & Rhymes Book and Letters & Sounds Phase 1.

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