Starting school can be an exciting time for parents and children, but it is also a scary one. Fear of the unknown can be daunting and it helps to be prepared as possible. Parents want the best opportunities for their children and of course for a child to have the best learning experience, they need development.
What is development for your soon-to-be school starter? Have you heard the term school readiness?
School readiness is a term that relates to when children are emotionally and socially ready to start school. It considers language and motor skills, physical well-being and state of independence. It can be checked through a Healthy Kids Check done at your local doctor or early childhood clinic.
Healthy Kids Check
- Contact your local doctor and organise your Healthy Kids Check. Do this when your child turns 4 years of age. This check is Government funded and ensures your child is healthy, fit and ready to learn. The check promotes early detection of growth and delayed-development issues, and is an opportunity for parents to obtain guidance and information on nutrition, skill, sleeping and any other issue of concern. Parents should take the child themselves for this check.
Take the time and make the appointment when you and the child can both go. The conversation between you and the doctor is important, must be accurate and is confidential. A morning appointment would be best, as young children’s concentration is not so good in the afternoon.
- Ask all those questions you have wanted to ask.
The Healthy Kids Check covers height, weight, eyesight, allergies, oral health, hearing, speech and toileting. This is the time to discuss any issues you have been concerned about but never sure if you should be. Children’s health and well being, and their growth and development are so individual at times, as all children are different. Just to talk to someone can be a great help.
- The Child Health Record Book (also known as The Blue Book)
Take your Child’s Health Record Book with you. The book will already contain information from younger years and there are pages for the 4-year check as well. Read these pages before you go and write down any queries you want to discuss with your doctor or nurse.
There is an 11-month age difference between the youngest and the eldest child in the class, so naturally the range of skills is great. Schools, preschools, childcare centres, local doctors and nurses are well aware of this, so if you are concerned, now is the time to discuss with them.
It is a good time to start leaving your child with a trusted friend if they are not used to separating from you. This can significantly reduce separation anxiety and give them (and you) a great start.