The transition from infant care to playgroup is a big milestone for babies.
During the toddler stage (between 1.5 and 3 years old), the learning development of children is the most fertile and grows exponentially. You want to give them as much advantage as possible at this time to reach their learning milestones for social management as well as communication and motor skills.
Benefits of Enrolling in Playgroup
The changing trends of working parents and the necessity of dual income are the driving force behind the shift in today’s childcare. In Singapore, more parents entrust their babies to childcare centres as they see many benefits. Childcare centres give parents flexibility like time to work, rest, and pursue their own interests, and that childcare centre educators are professionally trained.
Children in childcare centres are guided to establish a routine from infant care that will extend to preschool, and primary school. In the childcare centre, skilled teachers provide opportunities for your baby to acclimatise to a social environment with strangers who eventually become familiar faces. This will ease your child’s anxieties when integrating with peers and school authorities socially.
In addition, childcare centre teachers are equipped to structure a learning environment to help your child in their learning developments like speech, communication, physical/motor and social abilities.
Your child is also in the company of peers as they learn and grow together. In a playgroup, your child is introduced to a range of activities they may not do at home such as imaginative play or creative scenarios like sing and dance performances. This might help them develop creative thinking and test out real-life situations in a non-scary way.
What Happens During Playgroup in Childcare Centres
Playgroups in Singapore’s childcare centres offer an integrated approach to learning. Parents can have peace of mind that their children are engaged with sensory play, outdoor activities and mental stimulation during their day.
For example, at Little Footprints Preschool, we offer active and progressive and experiential learning to excite your child’s curiosity, reinforce the learning journey by stacking on your child’s previous learning and creating opportunities for your child to observe, explore and experience.
Your child is encouraged to ask questions, engaged in termly field trips, and offered opportunities to enhance their early language development and build their social and emotional skills.
How to Prepare Your Toddler for Playgroup
Prepping your toddler for playgroup can be both exciting and bittersweet for many parents. While it is a major milestone for your child, it is also a recognition that your child is growing up and venturing into the big world without you.
Before your child starts playgroup, here are some things you can do to prepare your toddler:
1. Explore the Idea of a Playgroup
Have a conversation about playgroups to introduce the idea to your child. Read books or choose storybooks with pictures about preschool to familiarise your child with the activities in playgroup.
2. Make a Game out of Practicing Self-help Skills
At home, engage your child in a fun play to practice self-help skills such as feeding, going to the toilet, washing hands, and asking questions. Use encouraging words and be generous with praises when your child experience successes.
3. Create a similar Routine to the Playgroup
During your tour at the childcare centres, find out what is the routine for playgroup so that you can emulate similar routines at home. For example, what time will your child take naps or snacks at the playgroup. This familiarity will help your child to adapt quickly and integrate successfully to the playgroup.
4. Visit the Childcare Centre Before Your Child Starts Playgroup
Bring your child to visit the childcare centre to get a feel of the place and to meet the teachers who will be taking care of your child. This will allow your child to know and feel that the childcare centre is a safe place and relieve any future separation anxieties. You can also see the chemistry between the teacher and your child.
Get in touch with the centre to make the arrangements as different childcare centres have varying policies and orientation arrangements.
5. Keep an Open Communication with Your Child’s Teacher
Most childcare centres have the practice to update parents on the child’s progress. Communicate any dietary restrictions, allergies or characteristic concerns that your child may have. This will help the teacher in charge of your child to her adjust the learning pathway for your child.
Discover Little Footprints Preschool
Little Footprints Preschool offers an immersive bilingual environment (Chinese and English) to prepare your child with the confidence to face the challenges in primary school. In addition, we welcome parents’ participation in their children’s learning journey as well through parent-child activities and regular progress updates.
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