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Preschool or Kindergarten? What’s the difference?

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It’s the year before your child is enrolled to attend school but are they school ready? A great way to prepare little ones for the routine of school and help them form friendships to grow their confidence in a new environment is to enrol them in kindergarten.

As defined on the C&K website : “Kindergarten, also known as preschool or pre-prep, is a structured, play-based program led by a university qualified teacher for children in the year before they attend school. The program which runs for at least 15 hours per week, 40 weeks per calendar year, focuses on helping children to develop a wide range of essential skills and prepares them for their transition to school.”

Community Kindergarten: Your Learning Home Away From Home

C&K Kindy Boondall

A gentle way to introduce your child to the routine of school is by joining a community kindergarten. These centres run two groups on a five day fortnight so your child will attend two days one week and three days the next. The centres also run in sync with the school term so you aren’t paying for care during school holidays.

Community Kindergartens encourage your active participation in your child’s learning. Parents are invited to come in on rostered days a few times through the year. This allows you to get to know your child’s friends, share your knowledge with the class and most importantly make your child feel extra special for the day. There are also working bees, social groups and committee meetings to leverage the collective expertise of the parents to make the centre run smoothly. Shared amongst all the parents the duties are light and the rewards are many.

Kindergarten in Long Day Care Services

C&K Kindy Boondall

Some long day care centres offer the kindergarten program as part of their care. This means parents can get the extended hours of a day care service while accessing the kindergarten curriculum. You may want to check if your daycare provider offers this if you think your child would benefit from a more formalised pre-school program. It’s also helpful to identify (with the assistance of the centre) which children will be going to the same school as your child and cultivate those friendships. It can make a big difference at a new school to have some familiar faces.

Local Kindy, Local School, Friends For Life

Choosing local kindergartens and schools is a great way to connect with your community and make friends to last a lifetime. The networks you build in early childhood offers benefits to both the parent/s and child: local friends, trustworthy playdates, shared pick-up and drop-offs down the line. Before you look for the *best* schools in the *best* areas consider what you love about your local area and see if the joy in your own backyard is greater than the dreams offered in the distance.

C&K Boondall welcome local families to call the centre and enrol for 2017 and/or place children on the waitlist here.

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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