THE first day of kindergarten was not as traumatic as it once was for students who started at Kinross Wolaroi School yesterday.
Thanks to a pre-preparatory course, John and Gina Lee’s and Kendal and Josh Hansen’s children knew the layout of the school, knew their teachers and knew the majority of students in their class.
The knowledge lessened the anxiety for the parents and meant there were no tears from either side.
“She woke up at about 6 o’clock because she was so excited,” Mr Hansen said of his daughter Grace.
Olivia Lee told the Central Western Daily she had a great first day of school and was not scared or nervous because all of her friends were with her, despite having an increased workload in kindergarten than prep.
“We did more grown-up things,” she said.
“It’s different because we got to read three books instead of two.”
Mr Lee said because of the prep course his daughter’s first day was a bit of a non-event.
“It’s just another day,” he said.
“We did it with our son too and it made it really easy.”
Orange Christian School principal Melissa Brown said the prep course run at her school helped children gain the confidence needed to enter kindergarten.
She said 80 per cent of the students in kindergarten had been part of the pre-prep course.
The course is cheaper than day care but suffers similar problems to long day care services when it comes to waiting lists.
“We have had a wait list and it looks that way for next year too,” Mrs Brown said.
She said the course helped educators pick up on learning needs and enabled parents to form a support group from the start of school through to year 12.
“We take parent anxiety pretty seriously and it gives them an opportunity to meet with other parents,” she said.
Mrs Brown said the course was becoming more popular every year.
“With a lot more parents going back into the workforce they are taking up the benefits of the early learning program,” she said.