Transitions from one routine to another are complicated times for young children and their families, and while every child and family has different issues and expectations, we want to help make your family's orientation to the Lemberg Children’s Center comfortable.
Here is a list of procedures we suggest:
- Talk to your child about starting at the Lemberg Center. Every family finds a different answer to the questions of what, when, and how much to say. Starting a new school is an ongoing process; it takes many weeks to say goodbye to the place you leave and many weeks to say hello to the new place. You do not need to discuss everything at once. The amount of language that your child understands will limit the following suggestions.
- Accentuate the positive things about the new program (i.e., the kids, the equipment, the activities, etc.)
- Keep your answers brief. If your child wants to talk, then s/he will ask questions.
- Say goodbye to the old childcare place. If possible make a return visit a few weeks after the move (it will help your child feel less of a loss).
- Talk about the move as a milestone, the leaving of a program as a form of graduation.
- Explain what you will be doing while your child is at Lemberg. ("While I am doing my work, you will be at Lemberg doing your work" or "While you are at Lemberg I will be at my office/lab/shop/etc. At the end of the day I will pick you up.")
- Bring your child to visit before the first day. Visit regularly to accustom your child to the facility. Stay for 30 minutes, an hour, or two and meet some of the people you will come to know well. Learn about your child's classroom, the playground, the lunchroom etc. This will help you and your child feel more comfortable with the school in general. We suggest at least one visit be in the week or two before your child's first day, so that things are fresh in his/her mind. While you are always welcome, it is much easier for the teachers if they can schedule visitors so there is only one family visiting at a time – please call ahead. The best times to visit are 8:30 - 11:30 and 2:30 - 5:00. Midday is lunch and naptime, and during morning arrival and afternoon pick-up times the teachers may not have as much time for your family as they would like. A great time to visit is on Friday afternoons from 4:00-4:30 during our sing-a-long called Aloha Friday.
- Discuss things that the child found intriguing about the center. ("Do you remember the playhouse? I'll bet that will be a fun place to play.")
- Ask Questions. Our director, Howie, our head teachers, our current parents are available to answer your questions. A head teacher will normally call you in the week before starting to discuss any questions you have. S/he will share any special ideas they have for the first few days. In any case feel free to call at any time you have questions.
- If you don't know any other Lemberg families and would like to make contact with someone before you start, please let us know and we will find a current family to pair you with. We will invite you to Lemberg Center events and meetings prior to your child starting. You can join our board, come to graduation and join family outings. Please make sure we have your email address in our Lembergcc@lists.lembergcc.org list serve membership.
- Do something special to "get ready" for the first day (e.g., get a new lunchbox or decorate the old one, make a "project" of washing a favorite piece of clothing to wear. If your child has a transitional stuffed animal, lovey then have your child tell the lovey about us and their Lemberg.)
- Many families for the first few days, find that shorter days work best. Others find that a parent staying a longer time the first day or two helps. Other children are perfectly happy without this kind of extra support. In any case, on the first day of school, be sure to let your child know your plans. Say, "I can stay at Lemberg with you for _x_ minutes, and then I must go to work. Your teacher will help you until I come to pick you up at _x_ or after lunch, nap, outside time or when Jill goes home.
- Let your head teacher know how your child is adjusting to the idea of starting at Lemberg. He/she may be able to suggest books to read or other ways to help.
- The start of the program is different for everyone. It is not possible for the staff to know what you are thinking. Please talk to your head teachers about any concerns you have, call with questions or just to see how your child is doing.