Supporting anxious children to return to care
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Supporting children who are anxious to begin preschool or return to care

by Freya Lucas

January 23, 2024

As a new academic year begins, some children may be feeling anxious about returning after the busy Christmas break, or about starting in a new preschool or early childhood education and care (ECEC) setting for the first time. 


The Raising Children Network has produced a list of tips for families whose children are not looking forward to the new year beginning, which may be useful for early childhood education and care (ECEC) professionals to share with families. 

“Whether it be starting preschool, primary school or high school for the first time – or experienced students returning from the long summer holidays – it is natural for some children to feel a bit nervous,”  Raising Children Network Director Derek McCormack said. 


Parents, carers and ECEC professionals can ‘set the tone’ by speaking positively with children about upcoming change, he continued, recommending a confident and enthusiastic approach when talking about transitions, which sends the positive message that they’ll cope and have fun.


Having children come back to a normal sleep routine, and a normal morning routine in the week before any change is also helpful, as is discussing the things they can look forward to, like seeing friends, or participating in certain activities. 

For more advice and support visit the Raising Children website.

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