Our Proven Preschool Program
Preparing children to transition to school
Starting school is a major transitional period in a child’s life. Each of our childcare centres in Perth incorporate our proven Preschool program, which has been specifically designed to ensure children have the fundamental social, emotional and physical skills to help them adapt and flourish in a school environment. Many of these skills are developed from babies and increase as children progress to the Kindy room. The program follows the Early Years Learning Framework and introduces early numeracy, literacy and science concepts through play. It provides a great transition to formal schooling, or continuation for children who attend school part-time.
Educators also connect with teachers from local schools to collaborate, arrange excursions and share ideas that help children to start school with confidence. Teachers say the children who have attended a high-quality early learning environment such as the one provided at Keiki Early Learning are more prepared for ‘big’ school, have richer vocabularies, stronger social skills and are adept at working in a group. By providing children with important foundational skills and establishing connections between families and schools, children will have the best opportunity to adjust to a school environment and reach their learning potential.
Building a Love of Learning through Play
Our high-quality ensures children develop the foundation skills required for future education, building a lasting love of learning. This is achieved through encouraging enquiry, curiosity and problem-solving skills through play. Children are introduced to early maths and science concepts through daily activities such as planning and sequencing games, loose parts play and cooking experiences. Storytime sessions and group discussions help develop language, storytelling and name recognition. Children are also encouraged to express themselves through creativity and art which can help develop colour recognition, shape experimentation and mark making skills. All of these experiences help children to develop foundation skills dthey will build upon further within a school environment.
Developing Physical Skills
The development of gross and fine motor skills will help children acquire the physical abilities required for a school environment, such as using scissors, holding a pencil or sitting in a chair or mat for long periods. At Keiki, we help develop fine motor skills from an early age by helping children practice with pencil grip, scissors, using tools, and through craft activities such as threading and play dough manipulation. Core strength is so important to children’s success at school and is developed within our Early Learning settings through activities such as climbing, balancing, yoga and dancing.
Social and Emotional Skills
Parents often tell us the number one concern they have for their child starting school is whether they will be able to make friends and cope emotionally in a new environment. We have a strong focus on helping children develop social and emotional skills such as self-regulation, resilience and independence from an early age.
Building emotional intelligence extends to interpersonal skills such as kindness, empathy and teamwork, which are developed through a range of activities such as games and play encouraging sharing and turn-taking, role-playing and talking about our emotions as a group. Resilience is encouraged through engaging in adventurous play and supporting children to be adaptable and flexible to change. We also embed rituals such as self-help during drop off, dining, sleep preparation and hand washing within our daily practices to help build independence and a sense of agency. Children are encouraged to make their own choices and decisions, whilst feeling comfortable and supported to ask educators for help when needed. Building these important emotional skills has many benefits to children embarking on a big transitional stage such as starting school.
Working with Schools, Families and Communities
An important part of the School Readiness program at Keiki Early Learning is building quality connections with local schools to ensure continuity of learning, a smooth transition for children and a sense of belonging for families. We do this by providing children with school uniforms to try on, organising excursions to local schools, holding transition to school information sessions for families, and inviting teachers and school staff into the service.
Towards the end of the program, we hold an end of year graduation ceremony and children are provided with a transition to school report outlining their learning journey and individual development. Children are supported during their transition, embarking on their journey into formal schooling as independent, creative, problem-solving learners who have the skills needed to excel in the classroom and beyond.