News & Resources
28 Apr 2020

Supporting children through change


Over the recent months many children have had to negotiate the change to being away from their friends and teachers in their local child care centres and Kindergarten, to being at home much more.  During this change children have learned a lot about the COVID-19 virus and the changes that it has brought into their lives such as social distancing and the importance of hand hygiene.

Many children have had to become accustomed to doing some or all their educational activities with their parents, while at home. It has been a time for families to take an enforced slow down that has undoubtably provided some unexpected and enjoyable benefits. However as things begin to return to normal, it is also timely to consider the change that this will also mean for young children as they recommence their early education in their local child care centre.  

Researchers around the world continue to send the same message; the early education that your child receives in their first five years is simply, the most valuable education they will ever receive. More than 90% of a child’s brain develops in these first few critical few years and we know that the quality and richness of their early experiences makes a significant difference to that development. Evidence also tells us that children who attend one or more years of a high-quality early learning program prior to commencing primary school, do better in school than those children who do not (Gettes and Fox 2016). Recommencing their early learning program with their familiar educators and teachers is a really important step back to the normal routines and experiences for young children.

It is important to remember however that young children will negotiate the change in a range of ways, some will be eager to get back to their friends and learning rooms, while others will feel unsure about re-establishing the routines of getting ready and separating from parnets at the front gate.
 
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Practice makes perfect, so use these tips to help your transition back to child care as smooth as possible.

Getting ready: Find time to work with your child and practice those essential aspects of getting ready including getting ready for the day and packing their bag. Make a game of the pretend process, so your child can remember what they need to do to get ready to go to the centre and play with their friends. This helps build familiarity and confidence in managing the daily routine.

Saying goodbye: It is important to practice and discuss saying goodbye and separating from you without anxiety. Discuss with them when you will drop them off and when you will return at the end of the day. Children are incredibly intuitive when it comes to the emotions of their parents. If your child is showing concern about you leaving them, staying calm and positive is the key to getting back into a positive drop off routine. Discuss your concerns or uncertainty with your child’s educator or teacher, they are well equipped at being able to help you and your little one negotiate the change.

Reminders of the time before disruption: Remind them about the things they like about Kindy. In the lead up to returning to your child's centre, discuss with them the fun things they were doing before the disruption. Ask them what was their favourite thing to do at Kindy and who were their friends?

These simple ideas will help your little one get back on track and engage with their early education and re-establish the important relationships with their educators and friends.

Your local Lifelong Learning Centre is open for learning , we are ready to welcome your child back into our centres. Remember there is no better time than right now to re-establish your child’s attendance. As it has always been, child care is safe and, at the moment, free for Australian families until 28 June 2020.

If you are looking for a new centre to continue, or kick off, your little ones' lifelong learning journey, we are accepting new enrolments, so find your nearest centre or contact 1800 CHILD CARE to secure your place.

 
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Contact Your Local Lifelong Learning Centre

Find your closest Lifelong Learning centre below or call 1800 CHILD CARE or email enrolments@lll.edu.au for more information.
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