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Here are some tips to help you and your child ease into the day-to-day practicalities of preschool.

Arrival and departure

Children’s Services regulations require parents and guardians to sign the child’s name and arrival time in a supplied book when children are dropped off. Parents also need to sign that they have picked up their child and at what time. This is a legal requirement for preschool.

Clothing

Comfortable, loose fitting clothing that doesn’t restrict your child’s movement is best for preschool. He'll need a hat for playing outside. It’s a good idea to check your child can handle zips and buttons so he can go to the toilet. See Dressing your toddler for more information.

Food

Some preschools ask you to bring fruit to share with the group; others prefer your child to eat their own snack. Some long-day care programs may ask parents to supply the child's lunch, other programs supply lunch. Ask your preschool for details. See How to pack a lunchbox for more information.

Illness record

Preschools must keep a formal written record of any medication your child needs. You will need to provide a written authority for this.

Problems

It’s a good idea to speak with preschool staff if any problems arise. Working things out quickly can prevent bigger issues.

Safety rules

All preschools have safety rules which parents need to know. These will include:

  • who has permission to collect your child
  • any out-of-bounds areas for children
  • traffic issues, such as parking.

Sickness

Sick children are best kept at home, for their own benefit and so they don’t pass germs on to other children. If your child has an infectious illness it’s a good idea to let your preschool know so they can inform other parents.

Sunsmart

You need to supply a hat, because your child’s skin is more sensitive to UV radiation than adult skin. Preschools are responsible for providing shaded play areas and making sure children use sunscreen and hats. 

It's best to avoid outdoor activities between 11 am and 3 pm in hot weather (and 4 pm in daylight savings). See Sun care for more information.

Toys from home

Each preschool has its own policy on whether children can bring toys from home. It’s best to check before your child packs his favourite teddy in his bag.

Parent participation

Preschools rely heavily on parents helping out. If you are able to help out, there are lots of opportunities to take part in the day-to-day activities or to be involved with preschool management.

Educational programs

Your preschool’s philosophy will be outlined in their information booklet. Details of the educational program will be displayed in the building and you can discuss this further with staff. You will also get a regular newsletter keeping you up-to-date with the current program.

Policies

Your preschool will have policies to deal with issues such as:

  • fee payment
  • managing behaviour
  • asthma
  • allergies.

This information should be on display within the preschool.

Fees

Fees and the way in which they are collected will vary from preschool to preschool. It’s a good idea to ask about your preschool’s policy ahead of time. Parents who hold a Commonwealth Health Care Card are eligible for a $250 annual preschool fee subsidy.

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  • Last Reviewed 05-05-2006