MercyCare Bedford program helps young learners to transition gently to school
MercyCare Bedford Early Learning Centre has introduced a new School Readiness Program to help ease the transition to school for young children who will shortly leave the familiarity of their early learning program.
Centre Manager Tegan Hansen explained the roots of the program, noting that the transition from early learning to school can be a time which is challenging for both parents and children.
To help make the transition a little easier, the centre designed and implemented a school readiness program which “provides a stepping stone from long day care routines and curriculum to a more school-based routine enabling a gentler transition”.
The program is offered for two days a week during school hours, and is delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher, attracting Child Care Subsidy, which “allows parents to dramatically reduce out-of-pocked expenses,” Ms Hansen said.
Developed based on feedback from parents from the neighbouring St Peter’s Primary School, the program is a measure which is designed to prepare children and families for school through mimicking the routines and hours of a typical school day.
The Program links with the Early Years Learning Framework and WA Kindergarten Curriculum, and has a focus on collaborative project based learning which is completed in groups, helping to build “soft skills” such as confidence, resilience and independence.
Routines and practical skills taught include getting used to a nine-to-three day, eating at certain times, self-help skills including self-dressing, being responsible for own belongings, taking turns to speak in front of the group and more.
“We have liaised with Kindergarten teachers and identified common gaps in developmental milestones expected to be reached before children start school. Our aim is to ensure children are meeting the developmental milestones necessary to confidentially step into the classroom,” MercyCare Early Learning Services Operations Manager Rosina Smith said.
To learn more about the program, please see the MercyCare website, here.