Ready for school?
Since 1 June, early years settings, including childminders, have been able to welcome back children of all ages. Children are strongly encouraged to attend childcare provision so that they can gain the learning and well being benefits of early education.
Parents and carers may be anxious about sending their child back to childcare but providers are following government measures to ensure the safety of children in their care and will be happy to share their plans with you.
Settings are helping young children to adapt to their new routines and settle back into the setting. They are continuing to support their early language and communication skills and provide opportunities to be physically active. Settings will use age appropriate ways to help children learn about keeping themselves safe, including regular hand washing and using a tissue.
How to help your child continue their learning at home
You can help your child to learn through the little things you do with them, for example:
- everyday conversations
- make-believe play
- games with numbers or letters
- reading together
- involving them in the things you are doing, such as household chores, and talking with them about it
You do not need to set separate time or plan complicated activities dedicated to learning. These activities can be incorporated into everyday life and play.
Keeping a routine
Children will feel more comfortable with a predictable routine, so try to make sure they:
- get up and go to bed at the same time each day
- have regular meal times
- turn off any electronic devices, including the TV, at least an hour before bedtime
Young children should be active for at least 3 hours a day in total.
It is also good to get some fresh air every day. If you do not have a garden and are taking children outside to exercise, make sure you follow the rules on social distancing.
While inside, there are plenty of things you can do to keep children active, such as:
- playing hide-and-seek
- seeing who can do the most star jumps
- making an obstacle course
- playing music and having a dance-off
Starting school can be a very exciting time but it can also be challenging for some children. Small steps make a big difference and families can help to prepare their child for school.
- Encourage children to talk about their feelings.
- Practical skills like encouraging youngsters to get dressed on their own and using the toilet independently can also help prepare them for starting school.
- The school your child is due to start may well be contacting you soon, they may have a digital tour so that you child can view their prospective school, or they may prepare a book for you to share with your child about becoming familiar with school routine and meeting the staff. If you have any concerns make sure you contact the school to talk these through before your child starts school.
There is information and advice for children of all ages returning to education after a prolonged period at School information.
Talking about starting school
Getting your child ready for school is a journey you’ve been preparing for since their birth. We know starting school can be a very exciting time, but it can bring some challenges too. We hope this Leicestershire video, “Talking about starting school”, will help your family on this journey.
Don’t forget that your child is entitled to free early education funding – 15 hours for all 3- and 4-year old children (and some 2-year olds). Some working parents may be eligible for 30 hours. Check if you qualify at www.childcarechoices.gov.uk.
Visit www.leicestershire.gov.uk/funded-childcare-places for more information.
If you’re unsure or concerned about your child’s learning and development, talk to a health professional, or speak to your child’s nursery, pre-school or childminder.
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What to expect when Guidance to your child’s learning and development in the early years foundation stage
Leicestershire Children and Families Partnership is working with early years providers, schools and 0-5 services to promote a shared view of school readiness across Leicestershire