Starting preschools can be daunting for parents as well as kids. Parents must take necessary steps to prepare them for this big start Image Credit: Supplied

Preparation is key

Children often need to prepare for change, just like adults. However, they take time and need constant reminders to accept the change. The weeks before a child starts nursery are crucial.

The best thing parents can do is talk to them about it every day. Explain where they are going, how they will get there and why they are going. Doing this every night should help your child prepare for the big change and be ready for it.

Try to meet the class teacher before he/she starts the class. Make sure your child tries to learn the name of the teacher and you talk about him/her every day. This will help your child to connect with someone in the nursery.

- Dr Vandana Gandhi, CEO and Founder of British Orchard Nurseries

Take a tour

Visit the nursery with your child before he/she starts attending it. During the visit, you can see the different areas and help your child understand that it is a comfortable and secure place. Remember, children can easily pick up on your anxieties, so try to be calm.

While you are visiting the nursery, you can ask the staff if you can take pictures or videos of the setting. If it is allowed, you can show these to your child at home while talking about the nursery. If not, there are plenty of videos, photos or story books on the first day of school or nursery. These should help.

Meet the teacher

Try to meet the class teacher before he/she starts the class. Make sure your child tries to learn the name of the teacher and you talk about him/her every day. This will help your child to connect with someone in the nursery.

Quick drop-off

It is critical you leave the premises as soon as you drop your child off at the nursery from day one. Staying around in the classroom or where your child can see you gives them the understanding that this is a place where mummy and daddy can stay. When you leave your child at the nursery, be honest with them. You need to say that you are leaving and you will be back later. Saying that you are just going to the toilet will not help. Your child will only then associate the nursery with a place of distrust and will not want to come back.

Pick up on time

Children will know when it is time to go home as per their routine. Stick to the time you promised to return. This is to ensure your child trusts you and knows you will be there when it is time for them to go home.

— The writer is CEO and Founder of British Orchard Nurseries