Kindergarten FAQs: What you need to know

The jump from daycare to the relative structure of kindergarten can be a big one for your child. So, it’s not surprising parents have a number of questions. Edge Early Learning has put together a list of FAQs to answer the most common questions new kindy parents have.

Is kindergarten compulsory?

Kindergarten programs are not mandatory. However, they are designed to help prepare children for Prep and are therefore incredibly beneficial – for both child and family.

What does a child need to know before starting kindergarten?

It goes without saying that every child is different, so it is neither possible nor helpful to identify things your child ‘must know’ before starting kindergarten. With that being said, there are a number of ways you can help to prepare them for the big step. Provide them with experience reading and using books, identifying numbers, and writing (even just their first name), as well as opportunities for independence and routine to help your child become kindergarten-ready.

How well should my kindergartener be reading?

Again, every child is different. In early kindergarten, a lot of emphasis is placed on letter sounds. Once your child masters that, they will begin to string sounds together through short vowel words and learn short sight words (think ‘the’ and ‘said’). At home, you can get them started with letter sound charts and, once they move on from those, low-level short vowel phonics books.

Is my child emotionally ready for kindergarten?

In the same way that all children learn differently, children’s emotions develop differently, too. However, in order to thrive at kindergarten, it might be beneficial for your child to be able to part from you without being upset, display a strong and positive sense of self, not become easily frustrated, possess confidence in new situations, and not cry easily.

What does a kindergarten curriculum look like?

In accordance with the Queensland Government’s Approved Kindergarten program, at Edge, your kindergartener will: take part in play-based learning; expand their physical abilities; build their confidence; and enhance their social skills. They will learn within a program that helps children prepare for school, develop a love of learning, make friends, and develop skills that will be useful throughout their whole life.

What to bring for the first day of kindergarten?

What you need to bring depends on the kindy or long daycare service you choose. It’s a good idea to ask the staff what they would like you to pack for your child each day. In general, it may be a drink bottle, spare clothes, a broad-brimmed hat, shoes, a sleep sheet and a pillow, and a packed lunch. Note that at Edge, meals are provided.

What should a kindergarten classroom look like?

While every kindergarten classroom will look different, there are some key elements they will share. At Edge, we incorporate larger furniture to help children get used to a school setting. We also find that they feel more at home around larger furniture items, as they are used to sitting at a large table and chair in their own home. Kindergarten classrooms are typically arranged for different types of learning – this can include space for class meetings, tables for group work, and quiet spots for independent work.

Edge Early Learning delivers the Queensland Government Approved Kindergarten Program in all centres that have a Bachelor-qualified educator. Enquire at your local centre today.

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Written by Angela Sutherland

After spending many years hustling stories on busy editorial desks around the world, Angela is now mum of two little ones and owner/editor at Kids on the Coast / Kids in the City. She is an atrocious cook and loves cutting shapes to 90s dance music.

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