Off To School help after a bumpy kinder year
Kindergarten plays an important role in preparing children for school. So when that preparation is disrupted – as has been the case during the COVID-19 pandemic – youngsters with additional needs can be left behind.
Registrations have now opened for Gateways Support Services’ Off To School program, which aims to support children with an NDIS plan as they get ready to begin mainstream school.
Geelong mum Nicole Grist has had two of her three children go through the Off To School program and recommends it as a beneficial ingredient in getting her children school-ready.
Lexie, now 6, completed the small group program in January and enjoyed a smooth transition to school. Her mum says that while Lexie’s play skills were mostly on par with her peers, she was concerned about her daughter’s separation anxiety.
Nicole says she wanted to help Lexie understand school routines were not so different from kinder, so that she would know what to expect when she started her new milestone.
‘My son, Cody, had participate in the Off To School program and was well prepared for school. So when Lexie was at kinder I knew she would benefit from it, too,’ Nicole says.
‘Off To School was great at fostering that understanding of routine and making her feel more sure about things. It was a great trial run.’
Gateways Support Services Children’s Occupational Therapist Leigh Daniels says the final year of early education is an ‘incredibly important’ year for four-year-olds.
‘They continue to develop skills such as playing with other children, regulating emotions and participating in group activities, which all assist them in transitioning to school,’ Leigh says.
‘This year they haven’t had as much of this social engagement that is so vital for school readiness. So supporting your child through their transition to school is more important for 2021 prep students than ever before.
Gateways Support Services Off To School program can:
- Support further development of social skills,
- Help children develop their ability to interact with unfamiliar peers,
- Identify areas in which parents and teachers can focus attention and support,
- Provide important opportunities for a child to experience school routines and expectations in a supportive therapeutic environment.
Registrations for the Geelong program are open now. Find out more and secure your child’s spot.
For any additional queries please contact us at email@example.com or phone 03 5221 2984 (ext 108) or mobile 0409 581 421.
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