My son was just two-and-a-half years old when he started kindergarten. On his first day, I wondered how my baby would cope being away from me for the first time.
I hung around outside for half an hour after dropping him off, half expecting a phone call, before dragging myself away. I rang at lunchtime and was assured he was having a ball. When I came to collect him six hours later, he was grubby, shoeless and sitting on a teacher’s lap listening to a story after a very busy and happy day.
In the past two years he has grown from a toddler to a pre-schooler. In that time, his teachers have guided him in sharing and taking turns. They’ve helped him count the castles in the sand pit, investigate which containers hold the most water and do somersaults on the mat. They have applied countless plasters and cold packs and cheered him on as he proudly wrote his name for the very first time. He can paint a picture of a monster truck and sit quietly on the mat listening to songs and stories.
Now he is one of the big kids and can look out for the littlies, like his younger sister who has joined him at kindergarten.
Soon he will be turning five, handing out cupcakes at his final mat time and singing the “Ka Kite” song for the last time. He is bursting with excitement at the prospect of starting school and, thanks to quality ECE, he is ready to hit the ground running.