Navigating School Readiness: Understanding What Matters Most for Your Child

Blog Image for article Navigating School Readiness: Understanding What Matters Most for Your Child

As parents, the journey of preparing our little ones for school can feel overwhelming. From the moment they begin kindergarten or preschool, we're faced with questions about what school readiness truly entails and how best to support our children during this pivotal stage of their lives. 

School Readiness Month

As we celebrate School Readiness Month, we're thrilled to partner with Goodstart Early Learning, one of Australia's leading early childhood education providers, to highlight the importance of quality early learning experiences in preparing children for school. Goodstart is committed to providing children with the best possible start in life, offering evidence-based programs and dedicated educators who are passionate about nurturing each child's unique potential.

Throughout this month, we'll be exploring what school readiness means, debunking common myths, and sharing practical tips and resources to help parents support their children's development. Whether you're considering childcare services, community kindergartens, or other early learning options, our goal is to empower you with the knowledge and confidence you need to make informed decisions about your child's education.

Watch our School Readiness video below that includes information from the experts at Goodstart as well as experiences from real families who are getting their little ones ready for primary school. This is a great resource to help you find out everything you need to know about school readiness including when to start considering when your child is ready.

What is School Readiness?

School readiness encompasses far more than just academic skills. It's about equipping children with the social, emotional, and cognitive tools they need to thrive in a school environment. From developing self-regulation and problem-solving skills to fostering independence and a love of learning, there are countless factors to consider when preparing your child for school.

Goodstart’s Preschool and Kindergarten programs are geared towards helping children develop the foundational skills they need for a smooth transition to school. The program is delivered through play-based learning which makes it active and fun. This helps children develop an openness to learning that lasts well into adult life.

“School readiness is not a checklist of academic skills that a child can or cannot do. School readiness is a way of being, thinking and feeling. Giving children the skills to trust their community, believe in themselves and create connections with others is the cornerstone of what a successful transition to school looks like for a child,” said Kristen Craighead the Centre Director at Goodstart Bentleigh East McKinnon Road.

Social and emotional skills are really important

While all areas of the preschool and kindergarten curriculum are important for school-readiness, social and emotional competencies are arguably the most important of all.

Building school-ready routines and behaviours

The school environment is quite different to that of early learning settings, so building routines and establishing behavioural expectations can really help smooth the transition for young children.

“When we intentionally teach and develop a school readiness plan for a child, we look at how we can deliver a program that communicates to the child that they are valued, they are capable and they will succeed in whatever they set their mind to” Kristen shared.

The independence that comes with starting ‘big school’ is also introduced in the kindergarten or preschool year at Goodstart. Children are encouraged to start to look after their own belongings, identify appropriate foods to eat, use self-help skills like toileting and dressing, and attempting tasks - both new and practiced - with confidence.

 

Debunking common myths

At this stage of a child's life, the quality of their early education experiences plays a crucial role in shaping their future success. While many parents may be familiar with traditional community kindergartens or preschools, it's important to recognise that preschool and kindergarten programs offered at childcare services are just as effective in preparing children for school. These programs often provide a holistic approach to early learning, combining play-based activities with structured learning experiences to support children's development across all domains.

Goodstart offers high quality Kindergarten and Preschool programs

Kindergarten teachers and the wider teams at Goodstart Early Learning are professional, passionate and dedicated to providing long-lasting and positive early learning experiences to all children. Goodstart’s Kindergarten and Preschool programs provide the same quality early education as sessional preschools or kindergartens in the following ways:

  • All Kindergarten and Preschool programs at Goodstart are developed based on the government’s Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). In addition each state has guidelines that Goodstart implements to ensure children are receiving the same kindergarten programs as they would attending a community kindergarten or preschool.
  • Learning plans are tailored for each child. All children attending Goodstart services have their progress tracked in the years leading up to school. Meaning if they stay at Goodstart for their kindergarten or preschool year, teachers and educators have a more complete record of each child’s development and strengths.
  • The Kindergarten and Preschool curriculum at Goodstart is tailored to each child’s interests and strengths to get the best results when developing academic skills.
  • A centre-based kindergarten or preschool program allows children to build attachments and connections with their key educators. Goodstart’s teachers aim to nurture happy, curious, kind children who grow into thoughtful, confident and motivated adults. Goodstart preschoolers are free to move across all age groups. This promotes a sense of belonging and helps older children learn key 'buddy' skills around leadership and empathy. 
  • To get government approval, Goodstart needs degree-qualified Kindergarten and Preschool teachers. Goodstart invests heavily in professional development and training and has a team of industry experts keeping all teachers updated with the latest research and best practices. 
  • Goodstart has strong relationships with local schools and provides detailed information about the incoming cohort of children. Early learning centre kindy and preschool programs mean educators have more time with the children throughout the year. This familiarity helps to better inform the school environment for children, giving them the best possible start to their first year.    

We’re excited to have Goodstart as our education partner for School Readiness month to support families in learning more about what this topic means for their little ones and how to get them ready for this next big stage in their lives. If you have a question about the Kindergarten and Preschool program at Goodstart or school readiness in general, send it to us here and we’ll get the experts to provide you with the answers. 

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