Children’s Development; Some tips about the first days at Kindergarten, Daycare and Preschool. (Bilingual Kids Co., Ltd インターナショナル幼稚園)

Perhaps you live in Tokyo and your thinking of joining an English speaking Kindergarten, Daycare or Preschool. You may even be considering an English School or a service that is combination of all four. In any case you want your kid to speak English but you also know that the social interaction at these places would be super stimulating for your child’s social development. Here is the first step to get your child started on that adventure.

Forming a bond between child and teacher

Yes, your child’s development, particularly her cognitive development is strongly associated with a healthy social life. 

To start her social development off on a strong footing , it’s ideal if your child can form some kind of emotional attachment or bond with the teacher or another staff member. This will allow your child to feel secure and confident, knowing that a safe base is always close at hand. Its known that toddlers and young children who have developed secure attachments are able to explore their environment and interact with it with increased confidence. Having this bond and enhanced confidence also encourages them to form other relationships and social skills. 

Professional childcare operators, particularly the midsized businesses which tend to operate at the deepest level of care, will always make bonding a priority. 

It needs to be said however that, while bonding is desirable, it is not imperative. Attachment or bonding can be whimsical, sometimes it forms and sometimes it doesn't. There are a variety of reasons why bonding may not take place, especially in the early days. 

For example if a young child does not respond to an adult in a commonly accepted way then the adult may find it difficult to get emotionally closer to the child. Also some children may not really respond to the staff member at all or some children may become strained in circumstances of physical contact. Often too, it's a case of timing. In these situations its obvious that the adult should not continue for the time being because continuation at this point would be detrimental and  the child’s rights must also always be upheld. 

Of course you as the parent will always have the strongest emotional tie with your child. In the early days being consistent in the timing your school drop off or pickup will be important for your child’s security and confidence. If you are going to be super early or late, it's always a good idea to explain this to your child.

Initial Separation

While many children separate without incident, some children may have difficulty. Separation anxiety differs for every child. However in the early days of joining a Kindergarten, Daycare and Preschool, or Even English School, this could continue for as long as two weeks in some cases. This is generally the amount of time a child needs to settle into any new environment.

If your child is having difficulty in separating, depending on the severity and how prolonged the situation is, there may then be a particular urgency for the need to bond. Pick the staff member who you think would be a good match then make sure the director of the school is aware of the situation and request that the same teacher/staff member greet and farewell your child much of the time. 

Giving the staff member a list of your child’s current interests is also a good way to help smooth things over. The staff member and your child should then have a mini routine of at least ten minutes of interaction during which time your child can be made to feel extra special. Its trust they need at this point and once this is obtained your child should be able to confidently move on to the stimulating social environment that is “a fantastic school.”