ECE Welcomes New Parents
New parents are welcomed to YCIS’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) section for the first of many workshops and meetings starting each year from May. Kate Mc-Alister, ECE Programme Coordinator talks us through the steps in place at YCIS to fully support our new families.
Please can you tell me more about the workshop for new parents to be held in May.
This workshop will be focusing on positive and respectful parenting. We will be looking at what daily messages we send children with our actions and language, and finding ways to be more respectful and positive with our children in those daily messages. We will talking about the importance of creating a sense of belonging and accepting children for who they are and the emotions they experience.
Why did YCIS decide to host these workshops?
These workshops were created to connect with families right from the start. We highly value our home-school relationships, as the more we communicate the better learning environments we can create for the children. These workshops are a great way to further families understanding of our programme and philosophies. They strive to support families as their child transitions into our programme with open and transparent dialogue building trust and security for everyone involved.
What are the types of concerns that parents face during this time when their child joins YCIS?
Starting school is a big change not only for the child, but also for the family. Common concerns are eating, napping and playing with peers. All these things will come with time and support of the teachers and families. If there is ever a concern, the best thing to do is talk with a teacher. Teachers are always happy to discuss further and come up with a plan that fits everyone’s needs.
How does the school communicate with parents?
We communicate in multiple ways from phone calls to communication books to daily conversations to workshops to book clubs to parent evenings. Communicating with parents is a high priority to us as the parents are the child's first and life-long teacher. The parents know their child best and the more we know about the child, the better we can provide and support the child in their learning journey.
What do you do if a new child has a very hard time settling in to YCIS?
Relationship always come first to us at YCIS. We believe if we build strong relationships from the start with a child, the child will have strong foundation for learning. If a child is having a hard time settling, we will make sure one teachers is really connecting with the child. The teacher will be there to comfort and listen to the child. That teacher will also be in heavy communication with the parent, so everyone can see the bigger picture of how to support the child. We also will go at that child’s speed. There is no need to rush. This is just the start of their school life and we want to make sure that it is a positive and relationship based beginning!
Do you have any tips for parents whose child is starting to go from a half day session to our full day session?
Remember to slow down. There is no rush. It is a big step eating lunch and taking a nap at school. Being in open communication with the teachers about when you feel your child is ready to start napping and engaging in open dialogue with the teachers.
Another important piece of advice would be to create a consistent routine for the child. Make every day as predictable as possible. Talk to your child about what the day will look like and acknowledge and accept their thoughts and feelings. Let them feel their emotions and remind them that you are here for them.
What other workshops/events take place during the school year?
2-year-old Parent workshop
Domestic Helper workshop
Parent Book clubs
Domestic Helper fellowships