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 Vermont Parents: Preparing a Child for Preschool

Child Care SearchParenting Tips

11th April 2022

Given the developmental advantages of attending a preschool program, most families choose to enroll their children in a preschool, whether it’s based in a family child care center, or public school. In Vermont, preschool is “a family choice” and thus not mandatory. However, enrollment and attendance in the state’s universal pre-K program are free.

Vermont’s age requirements for preschool are looser than many states. Per Vermont’s Agency of Education website, “Your child must be three, four, or five years old and not enrolled in kindergarten in their district of residence.” The decision of when to enroll a child in preschool is the responsibility of their family. But for parents in the state of Vermont, preparing children of any age for preschool is an important goal.

While three- and five-year-olds may be at different stages developmentally, preschool is still a big transition for any child. Talking to children about preschool or reading them books about it are reasonable first steps. Try to present it as a fun, exciting experience for them. Many young kids will look forward to growing, and preschool is undoubtedly a major step in that growth.

On the other hand, some children can be nervous about transitioning to preschool. When this happens, whether they communicate it verbally or not, it is essential to acknowledge their concerns. If a child expresses anxiety about preschool, do not dismiss their concerns. Let them know that it’s normal to feel that way, and offer direct reassurance to address their specific worries. As a parent, you should always relay a child’s concerns to any other adult caregivers.


Preparing Your Child For Preschool

You can also acclimate your child to the school environment outside of emotionally preparing children for preschool. Ideally, they will be able to visit the school before joining. Be sure to ask what the first week of transitions will look like. Include photos of your family in your child’s backpack. Share a picture of your child’s teacher at home or ask if they can see their teacher prior. Keep your references simple. If there is something your child will love at the school, let them know. Most importantly, remind them that you will be there at the end of the school to pick them up..try hard to stick to a consistent pickup and drop-off routine. Give your child the sense of security they will need through consistent actions.


Find A Preschool or Child Care Program Near You

If you would like to find a dedicated, passionate childcare community, Wonderschool is a great start! We have incredible child care programs in Vermont and throughout the country.