MIAMI (WSVN) - The 2019-20 school year in Miami-Dade County starts next Monday, and the Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ Department of Early Childhood Programs is giving parents tips on how to help their young children make the smooth transition from the comfort of home to the stimulating environment of preschool.

The tips released on Tuesday advise parents to employ the following techniques to get their preschoolers used to the new academic routine.

  • Read books about preschool — Discuss the stories and how characters are feeling about attending preschool. Ask your child how he or she feels about going to school.
  • Describe what will happen at school — Talk about interesting things that your child will learn at school as well as the daily routines they should expect (i.e. set times for lunch and play).
  • Visit the school prior to the first day — Drive or walk by the new school and talk to your child about what will happen there, such as story times and making new friends.
  • Plan your goodbye for the first week of school — It’s normal for children to experience separation anxiety the moment they’re dropped off at school during the first few weeks, so when you say goodbye to your child, keep it short and sweet. Be prepared for a few tears, but stay positive, so your child doesn’t pick up any anxious feelings you have about leaving them.
  • Establish a bedtime routine — Provide your child with activities, sounds or objects that help him/her feel calm and rested during the hour before bedtime. Reassure your child that tomorrow will be filled with more fun and special times.
  • Practice self-help skills — Help your child practice skills such as buttoning and unbuttoning pants, putting on and tying shoes, opening food wrappers, etc.

Parents still looking for an early childhood or voluntary prekindergarten program can contact their nearest school or the Department of Early Childhood Programs at 305-995-7632.

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