Preschool and Kindergarten FAQs
You have questions, we have answers
We have compiled responses to some of the most frequently asked questions to help you understand what to expect from the specialist Guardian kindergarten and preschool programs and how they support your child to be ready for school and beyond.
Do I need to take my child to a sessional kindergarten to get ready for school?
Guardian has a specialist kindergarten and preschool program for three and four-year-old children. Based on our Moving On Up program, kindergarten and preschool experiences enable children to explore and understand their world and develop the foundational literacy and numeracy skills to thrive. It is led by teachers with specialist early childhood university degrees and gives your child the advantage of a structured daily learning program. Our program follows the same requirements of the National Quality Framework and State–based Education Department guides for kindergarten/preschool.
What is the difference between a sessional kindergarten or preschool and a kindergarten or preschool program in childcare?
The traditional sessional model offers 15 hours per week at set session times on set days of the week. Our programs are embedded through the entire day, with families accessing the centre on days and at times that suit whole family needs. Your child gets the full benefits of a structured program without you having to rearrange your working day to the sessional hours of a stand-alone kindergarten or preschool program.
What can I expect in the kindergarten or preschool room, and how will I know what is happening?
Your child will experience a structured program with a clear plan for teaching and learning. In response to a changing world and research into how children’s brains develop, we have shifted our teaching practices to create open-ended, play-based experiences that:
- Teach the basic numeracy and literacy skills through purposeful and meaningful experiences.
- Embed valuable social and emotional skills required to be confident and resilient.
- Have clear learning outcomes to prepare your child for formal schooling, and beyond.
Visible learning is how we show your child’s progress. The Learning Exchange in each Centre shows what your child is doing on any given day. The StoryPark app puts you in the room, with photos, videos, and updates about your child’s day.
Do I need to send my child to a centre closer to home to make friends with children who will be going to school with them?
Relationships are the foundation of learning. Experiencing continuity of secure relationships builds the skills and confidence that children will draw on as they transition to school. Building on current relationships, within a well-known community will provide your child with confidence and skills to form new friendships at school.
Would it be helpful for my child to attend two kindergarten or preschool programs – one close to home and to stay on here with their current friends as well?
Children who attend two programs with a hope that this will ease their transition to school, are in fact, being expected to cope with double the change and expectation of starting school, but when they are a whole year younger. A child who attends two programs is expected to form and maintain two sets of relationships with teachers and peers, remember where to find what they need in two learning environments, remember two daily rhythms, and two sets of expectations of how to engage in the experiences of the day.
How does the kindergarten and preschool program support my child to be ready for school?
To be ready for school, and life, children need the skills to cope with change and to remain curious. The program supports them to take initiative, become involved, work collaboratively with others and to take on leadership roles. They will be willing to try new things and will one day be the problem solvers and innovative thinkers our world will need. Our teachers and educators use teaching strategies that are flexible and responsive to individual learning styles, backgrounds, and interests. We are supporting children to develop strong social and emotional skills and aptitudes that will stand them in good stead as they move through school and life.
My child has a birthday at the beginning of the year. Should I send them to school early or hold them back at kindergarten or preschool?
Going to school as an older child is not being held back. It is an opportunity to continue to develop confidence, skills, and maturity within their peer group that will have impacts right through their school life. Our kindergarten and preschool teachers know your child, and what type of learning environment they thrive in. They know if your child is more confident as a leader or a follower, or perhaps a combination in some areas. Kindergarten teachers will be happy to share insights into your child’s engagement in group learning, and weather they typically thrive or survive as a younger or older member of the group.
How will I know if my child is ready for school? How will you tell me?
Being ready for school involves consideration of every aspect of your child – how they feel about themselves, how they connect with others and how they develop new ideas, knowledge and skills. Your kindergarten teacher will communicate with you about all these aspects of your child as they engage in the kindergarten program.
We can show you how your child has progressed in their learning and development and decide, together with you, how we can support them further.
Transition to School Statements
This is a written summary of your child and their learning. It includes suggestions for the school in how to best support your child in a confident transition to school. We value your insights and questions about your child’s learning, and welcome regular short conversations at drop off or pick up. If the need arises, we can set aside time for a longer discussion.
When planning for learning that supports your child to be ready for school, our teachers include a range of learning experiences:
- Social and emotional learning: making friends, respecting others, cooperating, contributing to small and large groups, confidence, independence, resilience, personal organisation.
- Language and literacy: communication skills and confidence, developing a love of reading, rhyme and rhythm patterns through songs and familiar stories, pretend play, word games and telling their own stories.
- Early mathematical concepts: investigating number, patterns, measurement through investigations, inquiry, and play.
- Health and physical learning: making healthy choices, games, and play, jumping, running, climbing, moving in big and small ways to refine gross and fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination.
- Science and technology: investigation and critical thinking, planning, designing, predicting, comparing and evaluating through projects that explore their place in the world.
- Creative arts and expression: creatively expressing and sharing ideas using play, dance, storytelling, music, construction, clay, drawing and painting.
Does my child need to be able to write their name before they go to school?
No, your child does not need to be able to write their name before they go to school, but many will, and others will develop the foundations for writing in kindergarten and preschool and will learn to write their name in the first year of school. Our teachers plan for learning to write, understanding that writing involves a combination of physical skills and the child understanding of the potential of marks to carry meaning.
Teachers plan for multiple and frequently repeated experiences to support this learning, such as using a pencil or other tools to draw, or using small blocks, beads, and other construction materials to develop the fine motor skills needed for writing. Children are encouraged to draw to record their ideas and then talk about their drawings, developing their focus, vocabulary, and memory, which are fundamental aspects of literacy.
Everyday life tasks help too. Slowing down and providing time for children to do as much for themselves as possible develops physical coordination and persistence that also support the ability to learn to write. Many of these tasks are things you can easily incorporate in family life.