Kindergarten orientation moves from zoom to reality

Further easing of COVID restrictions mean a parent will now be able to join their pre-schooler at kindy orientation.

Image: Oakhill Drive Public School assistant principal Amy Pullinger meets preschoolers Ariana Fabbro and Thomas Hooper.

One fully vaccinated parent or carer per child will be allowed on school sites to support their pre-schooler as they start Kindergarten orientation, under new COVID-safe guidelines announced today.

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said she was delighted to be able to announce that parents would be able to share this exciting milestone with their young children.

“These new changes will ensure our pre-schoolers can put their best foot forward as they begin the transition to primary school and also allow parents to be a part of this important milestone in their child’s life,” Ms Mitchell said.

Ms Mitchell said under the new guidelines, which come into effect from 8 November:

  • One fully vaccinated parent or carer would be allowed on site with their pre-schooler for the orientation;
  • All components of the orientation that include parents and carers will be held outside;
  • Orientation activities would be held separate to other cohorts of students at the school.

“Keeping all students on site COVID-safe remains our priority and these new guidelines strike the right balance between supporting our pre-schoolers and their parents, and keeping schools safe,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Kindergarten orientation is not only important for our littlest learners, it is also important for schools to get to know new parents and establish those strong connections with families from the outset that will help our newest students thrive.”

The changes come alongside a range of new resources which have been developed for families and educators of NSW preschool children ahead of their transition to primary school in 2022.

The resources form part of the ‘Transition to School Program’ and are focused on enhancing connections between home, school and early childhood education services.

Ms Mitchell said the resources showcased how schools could tailor support to ensure students were engaged and ready to learn.

“We have a strong commitment to supporting students, families and educators through the transition phase to school, as we know this sets up our students for long-term success,” Ms Mitchell said.

“By equipping our educators with the latest research and practical strategies, schools can meet the learning and wellbeing needs of all students and encourage year-on-year student improvement.”

The resources, which include interactive webinars, professional learning activities, and case studies, facilitate collaboration between early childhood education services and schools.

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