Transitioning Back to School

“One of the best investments we can make in a child’s life is high quality early education”

Barack Obama

Contribution by: Michael-Ann Cox, Marketing and Community Engagement Manager

Transitioning and change can be difficult for anyone, at any age. During a pandemic, this can present extra challenges especially for young children as they transfer back to their early childhood programs or school. There are things that parents, caregivers and teachers can do to make the transition successful for everyone involved.

Early Intervention student working on hand eye coordination with our staff

New faces and routines can leave children wary. Children have a natural instinct to want to be closest to their familiar and trusted caregivers. Until a child is old enough to understand their emotions and talk clearly about their feelings, it can be difficult for an adult to explain that the new people their child is being introduced to – is a trusted source and there to care for them. If the child has developmental delays, they will need extra time to adjust. It is easier for young children to make the transition if they have spent time with their parents/caregiver and the new person (or people), together. While it’s natural for the parent/caregiver to worry about their child making a successful transition, always remember to keep calm and be reassuring so that your child mimics your behavior.

What can parents and caregivers do to make the transition easier? Here are some tips from the CDC.gov website:

Parents can:

Early Intervention Graduate and 2021 Turkey Trot Ambassador, Ellie with her Mom, Sarah W.
  • Ask your child’s school if they have any online support groups, such as a private Facebook group so that you can connect with other parents who have children in the same program.
  • Talk about school with your child.  Show them pictures of the school, classroom, and teachers if available. (our staff will gladly provide these to families upon request).
  • Talk with teachers about the best way to separate from their child at the start of the day—brief goodbyes are often best.
  • Try to stay calm and reassuring during transition—using a calm voice, with a relaxed face and body language to let their child know that they wouldn’t leave them if the child were not safe and protected.
  • Take care of themselves during stressful times so they can be better equipped to take care of others.
  • Find resources to learn how to promote resilience and reduce anxiety.
  • Remember that this is a phase—building new relationships is an important skill, and with support, children can be resilient. Even if it’s hard to separate, they will gain a new trusted relationship with their new teacher and peers so they feel more secure.
Early Intervention student enjoying structured music therapy activities

The skilled staff at Easterseals know how to help children adjust to the changes and fears they might be experiencing. From the moment a child enters our Early Intervention program, our goal is to provide them with the support and skill development needed to make positive impacts on their lives and their families. Their social and emotional learning is essential part of every child’s education. We focus on the child’s emotional and physical needs early on in their development at their individual level of ability, giving them the head start they need to keep up with their peers. We recognize that a focus on emotional wellbeing is critical to each child’s ability to engage and learn.

Our children and their social and emotional needs are in the forefront of our minds as we prepare to welcome students back to our campus.

Our Early Intervention staff

Support our efforts by joining one of our events:

Easterseals Golf Classic – September 20, 2021 http://bit.ly/GolfForEasterseals
Clays for a Cause – October 15, 2021 http://bit.ly/clays2021
Chase Columbus Turkey Trot – November 25, 2021 https://www.columbusturkeytrot.com/

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