Ready for school?
Schools, nurseries and childcare providers are currently closed to the majority of children. Places are available for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers.
While staying at home due to coronavirus, parents and carers may be worried about their children’s development and the impact of missing their pre- school education.
No one expects parents to act as teachers or childcare providers. Or to be able to provide all the activities that a nursery might. Parents and carers should do their best to help children and support their learning while dealing with competing demands.
How to help young children learn 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
Do not worry about trying to keep to the full routine that your child had in nursery or with their childcare provider. But 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.
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.
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