Preparing children with disabilities or delays for preschool or child care
When it comes to transitioning to school, we tend to put time and effort into preparing and planning for a child to start school but sometimes we don’t consider the same level of preparation that is needed for children to start child care or preschool. Early planning and access to the right support can mean the transition to the preschool and child care is smooth and successful for children with disabilities and delays.
When a child starts in preschool or child care, it can often be the first time they are in an educational setting in their community and away from family. What do you need consider when preparing your child for preschool/child care and choosing a centre?
- Which centre is right for my child?
- What do I need to look for in a centre?
- What support is available at the centre?
- How can I prepare my child to start at preschool/child care?
Finding the right centre for your child and family is very important. Your child’s learning needs and interests will need to be considered when planning and choosing a centre. An early intervention specialist is able to help you in this transition process, discussing with you what your family needs and how to choose the right centre.
EarlyEd can support families in a range of ways to transition into the preschool/child care environment. Working with your family, EarlyEd staff can suggest centres you may like to consider in your local area. Our staff work closely with centres across Sydney supporting the inclusion of children, giving workshops and meeting with a variety of centres in many different communities. Using our local knowledge, we can support you to make informed decisions about which centre suits your family’s needs and can best support your child. Once you have decided on the centre, EarlyEd can assist you to know what is needed for your child to participate meaningfully in everyday activities alongside typically developing peers, having the same choices, opportunity and experiences as other children.
Helping your child prepare for preschool/child care
There is a range of opportunities that can help your child to be ready for preschool. EarlyEd’s Early Learners Group is a well-established, research based program which aims to develop and assist you and your child with the skills needed for a preschool/child care environment. Early Learners Groups creates a social, play based setting that fosters skills in all developmental areas. Individual goals and outcomes for each child are included in the group program, catering to all the child’s needs to encourage learning. These can include self-help skills, eating a snack, making friends, playing outside and following routines. Families have the opportunity to connect with other families, sharing their journey together.
Early Learners Groups are for children aged 18 months to 4 years with any type of disability and all levels of ability. Early Learners offers children a small group setting that follows a preschool routine in a shorter period of time to help children with the transition of moving into a larger group setting of preschool/child care. Groups are run by experienced educators and therapists.
Further EarlyEd Support
As part of the early learners program, we can offer support to your preschool/child care to help your child’s inclusion and participation. EarlyEd can assist by:
- Successful transition to preschool/child care.
- Support once your child has started preschool/child care with regular visits for consultancy and support.
EarlyEd encourages establishing relationships and communication with others involved with your child including preschool/child care teachers. This can be part of your support team.
Kylie Holding – Early Interventionist and EarlyEd Team Leader
Kylie has 20 years of experience as an early interventionist. She is a trained special education teacher, has worked with babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers and school aged children and their families in group and individual settings.