Should my child go to Kindergarten?
Children who attend Kindergarten will be better prepared to transition to Prep, as Kindergarten provides opportunities to learn to interact with many children and exposes them to early learning experiences such as literacy and numeracy skills. Research has shown children who attend a kindergarten program have better educational outcomes and health.
What is the Kindergarten program based on?
The Kindergarten program is based on Foundations for Success, which guides early childhood teachers in developing a learning program that aims to bridge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children's home experiences with the experiences they will have in Kindergarten.
The program focuses on:
- reinforcing personal and cultural identities
- connecting with families
- providing the foundations for children's successful learning.
How do I register my child in Kindergarten?
Registrations for Kindergarten commence in Term 4 of the year prior to attendance and include visit/s to introduce new children and families to the program.
To register a child in Kindergarten parents/caregivers need to complete a registration form and provide proof of age (e.g. birth certificate) and immunisation documents.
What happens if my child cannot get an Immunisation History Statement?
In accordance with the Public Health (Childcare Vaccination) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 and the Department of Health: the National Immunisation Program Schedule, your child's Immunisation History Statement (IHS) is required at the time of registration.
Should you be unable to provide this information when you return your registration form please see the Kindergarten teacher or Nominated Supervisor (Principal).
What if my child has a specific health care, allergy or additional need?
Before your child starts Kindergarten it is important to advise staff if your child has any allergies or medical conditions (such as asthma) or additional needs. This will give the educators at the Kindergarten time to make any necessary arrangements for your child. This information is retained on your child's file and details of allergies and other special requirements may also be located in, for example, the kitchen or other relevant Kindergarten rooms. In the case of allergies and medical conditions, a Medical Management Plan from your child's doctor is required and you will be asked to jointly formulate a Risk Minimisation and Communication Plan with your child’s educators before your child can attend Kindergarten.
Why do I need to give authorisations for other people to be contacted?
In the event of an emergency it is important that the educators at the Kindergarten are able to contact you quickly. Please notify the Kindergarten of any changes to your contact details, particularly phone numbers. Contact numbers for other people who you authorise the Kindergarten educators to contact in certain circumstances should be entered on the registration form.
Please remember that your child can only be collected from Kindergarten by a parent, guardian or previously authorised person as you have nominated on the registration form.
What will I need to bring to register my child?
You will need to bring:
- proof of your child's date of birth (e.g. birth certificate or visa)
- your child's health and immunisation records
- the details of those people who will be authorised to pick up your child or give permissions on your behalf. Discuss this with those people you intend to list on the Registration Form or Authority to Collect form and make sure you have their current contact details to provide to staff. People authorised to collect a child from Kindergarten must be aged over 16 years old.
- the completed registration form and other relevant forms provided to you for submission to the office staff. If there is something you do not understand or you are worried about, ask a staff member.
What will my child learn?
During the day, children engage in learning through:
- Play—Play is a child's natural learning strategy. Through play children will develop their thinking and problem-solving strategies. They will extend their capabilities in oral languages, literacies and numeracies, through exploring diverse ways that develop their imagination and creativity that symbolise their experiences.
- Extended projects and investigations—Extended projects and investigations deliberately focus on finding answers to questions posed by children. Children will generate and discuss ideas, make plans, explore and brainstorm solutions to problems and share reasons for their choices.
- Focused intentional teaching—During focused intentional teaching, teachers will make learning explicit. Children will build on existing knowledge, experiences and language/s to create learning bridges to new knowledge.
- Shared rituals—A shared ritual could be the sharing of a book, an arrival or departure ritual, a rest time ritual, toileting times, or a meal. Shared rituals provide an opportunity for children to develop trusting relationships and engage in warm and responsive interactions with teachers and other children. Shared rituals also provide opportunities to calmly move between experiences throughout the day, for instance, from play to a shared meal time.
Can I volunteer?
Successful early learning for children relies on strong relationships and connections among educators, families and communities.
You are welcome to visit the Kindergarten at any time to participate in the program or even share a story, skill or experience. The Kindergarten will encourage your input into the program and you will be invited to share your child's interests or activities, including any experiences you have undertaken as a family that may be incorporated into the learning experiences at the Kindergarten.
You may also volunteer as a helper in the Kindergarten classroom. Volunteering is encouraged and could involve demonstrating how to cook special food, help to make gardens in the playground or yarn a story. Your child’s Kindergarten teacher will be able to discuss with you how you can contribute to the program.
Can I contribute to Kindergarten policy?
As part of the National Quality Framework, all early childhood education and care services are required to maintain a Quality Improvement Plan. This document identifies areas for improvement in services; as well as strategies for how improvement will be achieved. Kindergarten services value parent and community feedback about the program and use it to help improve the service which is why you may be asked to comment on particular areas throughout the year. If however, you have ideas about how the Kindergarten could do things better, please do not wait to be asked to comment, just talk to the Kindergarten staff.
What can I do at home to help?
- Family members are a child's first and most influential teachers. Help your child's class teacher to understand your child by sharing information about their interests and habits.
- Establish routines at home. Routines provide structure which in turn helps children feel secure and assists memory recall—both of which are important for learning.
- Have an early bed-time routine, that enables your child to settle after a busy day and enables them to get sufficient sleep, for example 7:30pm. Children need a good sleep each night (11–13 hours) so they are better able to pay attention, think creatively and play sensibly.
- Ensure your child attends Kindergarten on time each day. Punctual attendance each day helps children feel connected to the learning happening in the classroom, as well as to their friends and teachers.
- Talk with your child about their day at Kindergarten and everyday routines at home. This helps them to develop oral language skills, as well as understand there is a link between home and Kindergarten.
- Read with your child every day. This provides opportunities to strengthen your relationship, improves language and communication skills, contributes to academic achievement, develops thinking skills, assists your child in making connections to the world around them, enhances concentration, and helps your child to view reading as fun—not a chore.
- Make sure your child starts the day with a healthy breakfast. It will help them concentrate and give them energy to play and learn.
Will I get homework?
At Kindergarten your child will not be required to complete homework as learning will be promoted daily through play in a safe and happy environment.
Will I need to go to parent/teacher interviews?
While no parent/teacher interviews are scheduled, parent/caregiver involvement and feedback is valued and you are encouraged to keep in regular contact with your child's teacher to ensure your child's needs are met.
When can I talk to my Kindergarten teacher?
You are welcome to visit the Kindergarten at any time to participate in the program or even share a skill.
Alternatively, you may arrange an appointment with the Kindergarten teacher if you have any concerns or would simply like a longer chat about your child’s development.
Can my child attend Kindergarten if they are not toilet trained?
While it is preferable for children to be toilet-trained prior to commencing Kindergarten, access cannot be denied if children are not toilet-trained. Individual toileting routines and requirements your child may have will be incorporated into daily life at Kindergarten.
If your child is not yet toilet trained, Kindergarten staff will assist with this process when your child is ready and in consultation with you.
Where appropriate, methods used at home will be incorporated within the Kindergarten to ensure continuity with the home routine.
Does my child need to go to Kindergarten every day?
It is important that your child attends Kindergarten on all scheduled days. Regular attendance will help your child to develop positive relationships with peers and teaching staff, as well as establish routines that enhance learning.
Will I receive a school report while my child is in Kindergarten?
Children in Kindergarten do not receive a report card. At the beginning of the year, Kindergarten staff prepare an individual Learning Portfolio for each child. The unique Learning Portfolio captures the child's involvement in the program and include comments that detail what and how they are learning. Your child's Learning Portfolio and his/her Early Learning Profile will form the basis of any discussions you have with the teacher about your child's progress.
The Learning Portfolio will be jointly constructed which means that children will contribute their ideas about what is to be included in the portfolio, and they will have access to their portfolio at all times.
Your child's Learning Portfolio will be sent home at the end of the year.
How does Kindergarten link and fit in with school?
Kindergarten programs aim to provide children with experiences that will support them to successfully transition into their first year at school.
Children will also have opportunities to experience Prep through school-based activities.
While curriculum requirements at Kindergarten are different from those during Prep, there is an intentional connection between the Foundations for Success program and the eight learning areas contained within Australian National Curriculum.
What is a transition statement?
A transition statement is a summary of each child's learning across their year in Kindergarten with contributions from the kindergarten teacher, parent/caregiver and child.
Towards the end of the year before your child starts Prep, you will receive a transition statement that you can provide to your child's Prep teacher if you wish to. Alternatively, you may decide to give direct authority for the Kindergarten to pass the transition statement directly onto the child’s school.