How to choose a playgroup?
Posted by Admin Dino, October 6, 2012
This is a continuation of the blog "Introducing Your Toddler to a Playgroup" . What factors do you need to consider when selecting a playgroup. You should always visit playgroups before you commit yourself to one, and it might be useful to look out for the following:
- greetings and a warm welcome from the staff, particularly for your child
- a bright, friendly atmosphere, with plenty of the children's pictures covering the walls of the premises
- a scrupulously clean environment
- child-size toilets, or steps to help children to reach the loos
- a recognised security routine for collecting children after each session
- a safe environment, where children cannot leave supervised areas without an adult
- an interest table, where children can bring in objects from home
- access to a play area outside.
Your child may be very excited at the prospect of playgroup, but a little more hesitant when she arrives there. For the first two sessions, try to make sure you are available to stay if you need to. You may find that staying for the first session is enough, and you can leave after she has settled into the second session. When you do leave her, let her know that you are going, and that you will collect her when it is finished. If she cries, her tears will probably be over more quickly if you give her a quick hug and kiss and then leave, allowing one of the workers to divert her attention. Very often children cry because they don't like the reality of separation, but they usually settle down soon after it has taken place.
If your child cries every day for a number of weeks, you may be expecting too much of her. If she is not yet three, she may benefit from waiting another term. If she is going every day, try cutting it down to every other day and see if that makes her feel more relaxed. The staff at the playgroup will be happy to talk to you about how she is settling in.