By Emma Thomas – Kindy teacher, early years specialist and mum to an 18-month-old

If Prep is the start of school then why is there so much fuss about Kindergarten? Does it matter where your child goes to Kindy? Do they really need to be taught by a teacher? All they do is play, so they just need to be safe and happy…. Don’t they?

Well, I’m here to tell you that Kindergarten is important, it does matter and you should take it seriously! Full disclosure – I am a Kindy teacher (so I may be a little biased!).

In many ways, Kindergarten is the most important year of school. In the early childhood years, children are developing the foundational skills for life and in the Kindy year this development comes together and sets the stage for future learning.

At Kindergarten children learn

  • Who they are and where they fit into the world
  • How to care for the world around them (including tidying up!)
  • How to be a good friend
  • How to join a group that is already playing
  • Independence skills, like toileting or opening a lunch box
  • The purpose of reading and writing
  • Kindness and sharing
  • How things work
  • How to control their emotions and express feelings
  • How to look after themselves and assess risks
  • Language and communication skills
  • What learning is!

Arden offers a Queensland Government approved Kindergarten program which is delivered in our Kindergarten Room. As a Long Day Care Centre, we offer many options for families with flexible days and hours. We also provide food and additional programs such as Happy Feet and Siba Soccer.

All Kindergarten programs are delivered by a specialist early years teacher. Programs are play-based and vary depending on the philosophy of the centre and the style of the teacher.

At Arden, our children are already settled in the centre and have an excellent transition into the Kindy program. We seek information from families as they start at the centre or transition between rooms. We also work with families to set goals for the Kindy year.

During the Kindy year, there is so much learning and development that goes on for children! This year is crucial in setting them up for formal academic learning as well as developing the social and independence skills needed to thrive in school.

Some of the areas of learning which we cover at Kindergarten are:

  • Learning as part of a group
  • Social skills, including making friends
  • Exposure to early maths and literacy concepts
  • Developing a love of learning
  • School readiness

Within school readiness, we are looking for

  • Social and Emotional Readiness
  • Academic Interest
  • Language Skills
  • Physical Skills: fine and gross motor
  • Independence

We facilitate the development of these skills through our play-based program – our Kindy teacher observes the needs and interests of the children, both individually and as a group and then provides learning opportunities to fill these needs.

At Arden we have an excellent transition to school program. Our children are able to visit Norfolk State School twice a week. They go to the library and are able to read and borrow books. This regular outing provides children with the opportunity to become familiar with the big school.

Choosing a Kindy is a big decision, at Arden our philosophy of ‘Honouring Early Childhood’ guides everything we do. Our Kindergarten program will nurture your child’s learning and development and support them in this crucial year.