Starting At Milestones: Information For New Families

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Stay & Play before your first day

Starting child care and early education may be an exciting time for children and families, although it may also be an emotional or anxious time.

Prior to your child's first day, we encourage you to book a free Stay & Play session to familiarise both you and your child with the centre and the educators.

The orientation will be tailored to you and your child’s needs. It might be a quick drop in the day before or it might be a series of short visits leading up to the first day. It may also involve shorter days once the child has started to ease them into the routine.

Please ask your Centre Manager about how they can accommodate your needs over the orientation period.

What to bring to day care

Here is a general overview of what may be required each day.

All children:

  • Water bottle
  • Wide brimmed hat
  • A complete change of seasonal appropriate clothes (a few sets if learning to use the toilet)
  • A sheet
  • A photo of the family
  • A special comforter (blanket or teddy for example, that the child may be attached to)

Nursery and toddlers:

  • Formula or breast milk sufficient for your baby’s needs
  • A dummy, if necessary, with a cap or container for storage

What to wear to day care

Your child's day may involve physical activity, exploration, a little mess at times and lots of serious fun! Please dress your child in unrestrictive clothing, which is easily removed for toileting and is appropriate for the climate.

If your child insists on wearing a special outfit, please be prepared for the fact it may get messy during the day. A spare change of clothes should always be packed.

We recommend children wear comfortable, closed-in, non-slip shoes that can be easily removed to assist in physical activity and also independence.

Please ensure all items are clearly labelled to minimise the risk of misplacement.

Items to leave at home

Except for a special comforter teddy or blanket, or similar, we recommend keeping other toys at home. There will be opportunities in the program, such as ‘show and share’, to bring in and share other special things.

For the safety and wellbeing of all children, other items that must not be left in children’s bags include medications, sharp objects, plastic bags, mobile phones or valuable or breakable items. We will not be held liable for loss or damage of items brought into the centre.

Lost property

Our educators will do their best to keep track of all children’s belongings. Please ensure you clearly label every item (including shoes!) with your child’s name and your mobile number. Where items become misplaced, please check with the educators or updates on the Storypark app.

Settling in

Separation can be difficult for some children and families. Speak with your Centre Manager or child’s educator if you, or your child, experience anxiety or distress, and our educators can support you.

Tips to help your child settle include:

  • Take advantage of our free Stay & Play sessions at our centre prior to your child’s first day. Meet our educators and get a feel for the room.
  • Stay with your child and play for a little while on their first day, or first few days, to help engage them in play.
  • Bring a comforter or favourite cuddle toy, or a family photo to help your child feel safe.
  • Always say goodbye, rather than sneaking away. This helps to develop trust.
  • Follow a regular routine each time you arrive at our centre. Your child will become familiar with the routine.
  • Maintain relationships with our educators. If your child sees you connecting with their educator, they will also feel more connected.
  • Feel free to call our centre at any time to find out how your child is settling.
Starting at Milestones | Orientation, what to bring, what to leave at home

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