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Is your child starting Kindergarten?! Here is what you NEED to know.

Many school boards in Ontario (including the Toronto School Board I taught with!) designate February as Kindergarten Registration month.

You can register at any time (other than summer) but doing so now will tell the school how many new students to expect (which affects how many staff they hire) and helps you learn what information your school with provide you with for this transition. There are things you can practice with your child between now and September. Expect a range in how much information is provided from school to school.

Here's what you NEED to know about starting Kindergarten:

1. You have to register your child with the school they will attend – get the details on how to do that on your school board’s website, e.g., the Toronto public board is You can do that right now, if you haven’t already.

2. What time your child's school starts and ends.

3. You have to pack a nut-free lunch and snacks, a water bottle, and a change of clothes.

4. Your child needs to be able to use the washroom independently – this includes managing clothing, wiping, and washing hands.

5. There is a huge range of developmental readiness at this age and your child is not expected to have any particular academic skills at the start of Kindergarten.

That covers the must-knows, I think!

Now, here's what you may WANT to know:

You are your child's first teacher and you play a very important role in your child's education.

There are ways you can support your child so they feel more confident at school:

1. Visit the school yard on weekends to make the new environment familiar.

2. The more independent your child is, the easier the transition. For example, putting on their jackets and shoes, opening food containers, and asking for help when they need it.

3. Some academic skills are helpful:

Familiarity with their name (e.g., being able to recognize it).

Knowing the abc song, recognizing some letters.

Counting to 5, then 10.

Knowing how to hold a book and turn the pages.

4. Reading to your child daily has numerous benefits to your child's learning, fosters a love for reading, and is a lovely bonding activity.

Your school board website has resources with tips on helping your child prepare for school and there are countless blog posts on the topic! Google "starting Kindergarten".

If you are someone who wants all the information on starting Kindergarten and supporting all areas of your child's learning and development all in one place, I am offering my Kindergarten Confidence course very soon!

I share all I know from teaching Kindergarten and primary grades for 14 years to give you confidence for starting school and supporting your child's early learning at home.

Read details on the course here and sign up on the same page to be the first to know when it is available (& to get the best price!).

You will also get a FREE copy of the Welcome to Kindergarten letter I sent to new families when I was teaching Kindergarten.

Click on "contact" to send me any questions or share how you are feeling about this big milestone for your child!

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