The excitement that accompanies a child’s kindergarten year is in the air as families prepare for the transition to the classroom in just a few short weeks. thread is here to help your family feel supported and informed while getting ready for this next chapter.
Preparing for Kindergarten
Transitioning to kindergarten is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful for families. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has developed a general help list to prepare you and your child for kindergarten.
Before School Starts
- Visit the school and meet the teacher. Attend a visiting day at your child’s school or contact the teacher directly to arrange a quick visit so your child is comfortable on the first day of school.
- Specify allergies or special needs with the school nurse and teacher. Provide this information even if you have indicated this on other forms already.
- Start your school routine now. To reduce stress surrounding this transition, adjust bedtime and wake-up schedules to support your child’s new kindergarten routine.
- Label everything! Make sure to label their backpack, water bottle, lunch box, coat – everything your child brings to school. This includes them! If your child’s school does not provide nametags, make one.
- Read books with your child about starting kindergarten. Check out NAEYC’s Fall in Love with Reading: Ten Simple Things you Can Do at Home blog for more book ideas.
On the First Day of School
- Be positive and show excitement! Give your child a hug, tell them you love them, and try to avoid behaviors that might be upsetting, like battling over clothes and food choices.
- Set aside time daily to hear about your child’s day. Talk about activities they did that day and give them the opportunity to share their creations with you.
- Wait to ask the teacher your specific questions. Trust that the teacher is a professional who will make your child feel welcome and help them feel like a member of the classroom community.
After School Child Care
You may need to find after-school child care with your new elementary school schedule. Find out if there is an after-school program or community program(s) available at your school. To learn more about your after-school child care options, you can:
- Use thread’s online search tool for a quick and easy search for child care in your school’s area
- Call 1-800-278-3723 to speak to an Early Childhood Specialist and get a child care referral list within minutes
These services are free and available to everyone.
Access to child care continues to be challenging due to the impact of the pandemic. If you are experiencing a challenge finding after-school care, contact thread, or read thread’sCoping with Challenges Finding Care blog and visit thread’s Difficulty Finding Care page.
As of June 18, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends children ages 6 months and older get vaccinated against COVID-19. Talk to your pediatrician about any questions you have regarding getting your child vaccinated before school starts. Or learn more here about the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine. Click here to find a vaccination provider in Alaska near you.
Below are more resources to help your child and family ease into this exciting transition.
- thread’s COVID-19 Family Resource Center
- School Readiness blogs (NAEYC)
- 10 Ways to Get Ready For Kindergarten (ASD)
- Community Kindergarten Round Up – PDF (ASD)
- Making the Transition from Child Care to Kindergarten (Child Care Aware of America)
- What Parents Need to Know (CDC)
- Tips for Families: Coronavirus (ZERO TO THREE)
- Multi-lingual COVID-19 Resources (MOA)
- Kindergarten Registration Information: