Healthy Kids YMCA Child Care

Getting ahead: How a nursery program can prepare your child for kindergarten

Three preschool-aged children sitting on a carpet in a classroom playing with wooden blocks

The Aurora YMCA Centre is now accepting new nursery program registrations. Register today to give your child a head start on academic success!

Preparing your preschool-aged child for kindergarten is never an easy task; however, a nursery program can make for a smoother transition from home to the classroom. Here’s what you should know about how nursery programs help with school readiness:

1. Children develop a love of learning through play

Employing play as a learning medium is important because it helps children to think, problem-solve, and investigate the world. A nursery program with a solid play-based learning curriculum enables children to have experiences that support their natural curiosity and instill a thirst for knowledge. Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) allow for such experiences to occur by staging the classroom to reflect children’s interests and supporting them in constructing meaning from play activities.

2. Children learn to socialize

Developing strong social skills is vital for kindergarten readiness and success later in life. Nurturing a young child’s ability to socialize may not seem as significant as helping them learn their ABCs, but it’s one of the most important things parents can do to prepare kids for success later in life. Through group activities with children of a similar age, a child in a nursery program learns about sharing, teamwork, and how to create healthy friendships, which are skills that extend beyond kindergarten.

3. Children gain independence

Independence in kindergarten is crucial. With 29 other kids in their classroom, a teacher may not always have the ability to help your child with zipping zippers or personal hygiene, for example. Nursery programs encourage independence in children through the development of self-help skills. ECEs teach children how to perform everyday tasks on their own, such as independent dressing. Instilling self-sufficiency and independence during early childhood also fosters confidence and receptiveness toward learning.

4. Children develop fine motor skills

With all of the colouring, cutting, and writing that happens in kindergarten, possessing fine motor skills helps kids participate in classroom learning. To build the strength and coordination in your child’s hands, an ECE provides opportunities for them to manipulate a variety of materials (such as blocks, crayons, and paintbrushes) and engage in activities (like pasting objects onto paper) that increase hand-eye coordination so that they will be able to hold writing utensils for long periods of time.