First Day 101
Welcome to the wonderful world of preschool! Anyone count down the days til their child’s first day? As much as we love our little ones, it is great to give others the opportunity to fall in love with our children. While some parents cannot wait to drop their child off, others might feel uneasy and stressed. Fear not, for if I write this blog correctly, I will guide you to a smooth transition into preschool.
Meeting the Teacher
Your child will have one to two teachers, depending on age and ratio of the class. Do not fret; unlike our toddler friends, these teachers will not bite. If you have any questions or concerns, our teachers will take time to chat, email, or phone you. You will have the opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher(s) during Open House. There, they will give you all the information you need for the first day of school. Parents usually have a much harder time than their children in their first few weeks at school. Children are more resilient than we give them credit, and that’s thanks to your parenting. Our teachers have years of experience and training, and their number one priority is to keep your child safe and loved. With your trust and support, we look forward to a wonderful school year.
Drop Off/ Pick Up
Leaving your child in the care of someone new can be extremely difficult, but we are here to ease the pain. The best advice I can give you is 1. Create a goodbye ritual with your child (give a big hug and say “I love you”) 2. Tell them when they will be picked up and by whom (“ Mommy will pick you up after lunch/ nap time”) 3. Reassure them that their teacher will take good care of them (“I have to go now, Ms. So and So will keep you safe while I go to work”).
Quick goodbyes make drier eyes. If you linger, leave and come back, or sneak out, it will confuse your child and make it harder for them to adjust to school. Much like my dog, children can sense how you feel. Even if you are nervous and worried, it is important to take deep breaths and put on a brave face for your child. Your positive presence will help them be at ease.
Oftentimes, a child who is playing and enjoying themselves will burst into tears at pick up. This is very typical, and by no means reflects they had a horrible day. This is a great opportunity for you to comfort them in a positive light and say “You were so brave coming to school today. Ms. So and So said you enjoyed playing with the trucks outside.” With a few consistent weeks, you may be surprised. The child who was once gripping onto you for dear life at drop off might be screaming “I don’t want to go home!”
I have encountered beautiful lunches with sandwiches cut into hearts and flowers and fruits with toothpick eyes attached to them. If you have a special calling for food art, great! You can skip to the next section. This is for my fellow “What am I supposed to pack my child for lunch?!” parents. I struggle packing my own lunch, so I cannot imagine what it is like figuring out what to feed your child. Luckily, I have some simple and easy meal preps for the typical eater:
Bento box/ Container for food + Lunch bag
- Keep in mind children’s lunches are not placed in fridge or microwaved
See the rainbow. Taste the rainbow.
- Pack lots of colorful fruits and veggies. Prewash and slice to prep for the week
Hit the food groups
- Veggies: carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes (I know it’s technically a fruit, but I wouldn’t put it in my fruit salad so…), celery, broccoli, corn, kale
- Grain: pasta, sandwich (hold the pb, we are a peanut free zone), fried rice, crackers, pizza, noodles
- Proteins: beans, nuts, steak, chicken nuggets, fish, dumplings
- Fruits: apple, orange, strawberry, pear, pineapple, watermelon, fruit pouches, fruit cups
- Dairy: cheese (block, string, circle), milk, quesadilla, mac n cheese
- Lunch bag/box, fruit pouch, utensils, lids, containers
At CMP, we encourage all children to eat on their own. Please have your child practice eating with their hands or utensils prior to the first day of school. It is typical for a child not to eat much of their lunch when they are still getting accustomed to school. Your child will not starve. We serve morning and afternoon snacks. They will eat when they are hungry, and we offer lunch after nap if they have lots of food left over. We do not throw away large amounts of food, so you can see what your child did/did not eat.
Cooties and Germs
Your child will make lots of memories at school, and share lots of germs. It is extremely common for children to catch colds and other icky illnesses. This is the perfect opportunity to strengthen your child’s immune system and teach them about germs. Every classroom practices good hygiene. Teachers make sure children wash hands after playing outside, after using the bathroom, and before eating. We encourage children to keep their hands out of their mouths, use a tissue when needed, and teach them to cover their coughs and sneezes. CMP uses Thieves cleaning spray for countertops and chairs, and toys and mats are cleaned in the Zono sanitizing system monthly.
Congrats! You made it to the end of the blog! You have graduated home care and are now ready to take the next leap into preschool. Remember, things may not always go as we would like, but with an open mind and a positive outlook, you can overcome any obstacle. Have a wonderful day. I wish you well!