Back-to-school can be stressful for many children and families. Use these five tips to help your child, and yourself, be ready for school.
- Stay up-to-date. The National Institute of Health (NIH) recommends parents take their child for a physical and eye exam before school starts. Most schools require up-to-date immunizations and may need documentation. To learn more about immunizations for back-to-school, register for our webinar here.
- Get everyone on a schedule. Children find comfort in routine. “A regular routine will give a sense of control to both parent and child,” says Kathy Eugster, child and family counselor. Get back into bedtime and dinner and other routines about one week before school begins. If you child has questions, be sure to talk to them and make them feel comfortable with the upcoming transition.
- Visit the school. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) recommends that if your child is starting at a new school, visit the school with your child. Meet the teacher, tour the school grounds and find the classroom. This will ensure that your child feels safe moving into a new school or class. Call ahead to make sure the teacher will be available to meet your child when you arrive.
- Let your children know you care. Put a personal note in their lunch box or backpack. Make sure you are always available to listen and talk about the change or answer any questions going into the first day of school and beyond. (Tip from NASP)
- Make time for breakfast. Eating breakfast before you head out the door will boost your energy and help you keep your focus on the day ahead. Here are a few healthy suggestions from the American Institute for Cancer Research:
- A nonfat or lowfat yogurt parfait layered with fresh fruit and cereal, nuts or raisins
- Lowfat yogurt mixed with fresh fruit in a blender for a vitamin-rich smoothie
- Whole wheat toast with a little peanut butter and banana slices
- Instant or quick-cooking oatmeal or whole grain cold cereal with raisins or fresh fruit and lowfat dairy or soy milk
- Fish, such as leftover salmon, on a whole grain bagel with reduced or nonfat cream cheese
- Homemade bran or fruit and nut muffins, made on the weekend and frozen.
During President Obama’s State of the Union address, the President shared his vision for strengthening early learning throughout America. “Every dollar we invest in high-quality early childhood education can save more than seven dollars later on — by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime,” he said. “ In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children, like Georgia or Oklahoma, studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, form more stable families of their own. We know this works. So let’s do what works and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind. Let’s give our kids that chance.” The Strong Start for Children campaign is working with advocates across the country to support Early Learning Day of Action on June 5th.
As a part of the Strong Start for Children campaign, we are excited to support an expansion of Early Head Start to more communities and more children. The research is clear – the first years of a child’s life are critical for their development. Children who have a high-quality prekindergarten experience are more likely to do well in school and find better jobs. One of our parent leaders knows firsthand how much quality education can make a difference early on.
Codie Warner, a Child Care Aware® of America Parent Leader, is very excited as well. As a Head Start child herself, she is a huge advocate for the program. She was able to enroll her children in Early Head Start and sees the impact the program is making. Not only are her children learning daily, her daughter is also able to receive occupational therapy and other services to support her healthy development.
Since 1965, nearly 30 million low-income children and families have been a part of Head Start services. We are thrilled to see the priority placed on quality early childhood settings for children beginning at birth. Too many children today do not have access to quality child care. State laws vary greatly, not just with regard to state preschool initiatives but also with regard to state child care programs and the training and education of the early childhood workforce. The President’s plan will challenge states and communities to do their best for children so that children can do their best when they enter school.