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What to expect when you enrol at Goodstart

Goodstart centres

Starting childcare for the first time, or moving to a new centre, can be a stressful time for parents and children and it helps to know what to expect and how best to prepare.

Depending on your circumstances and the number of vacancies available at the centre, your enrolment experience might vary slightly but generally, this is what you can expect as you go through the enrolment process at Goodstart.

Initial enquiry and centre tour
Whether you’ve made your enquiry through the Goodstart website, by calling us, or by dropping into your local centre, we’ll arrange a time for you to do a formal tour at your chosen centre.

Tours are a great way to get a feel for the centre and ask questions about the centre’s program and routines. It really helps to know what to look for in terms of quality too, which you can learn more about here.

After your tour, your Centre Director will provide you with an enrolment pack with everything you need to know about the centre and will also give you a quote for daily fees and any further information you need.

You may be ready to enrol now, but you may also want to organise some play dates at the centre with your child to really feel comfortable and confident. When you are ready to enrol, the Centre Director will let you know about the days available before booking your place.

Preparing for your first day
There’s a few things you might like to consider doing ahead of your first day to help ensure your child enjoys a smooth transition into the centre:
  • Organise a play date at the centre (if you haven’t already)
  • Bring it into conversation – it helps make starting childcare feel more normal for your child
  • Give them a special item – it doesn’t have to be brand new, but giving them something they’ll use at the centre can help children feel a sense of ownership and excitement about the changes ahead
  • Role play – practice getting dressed, packing a lunchbox, putting their bag away or any other features of their new routine
  • Plan your exit strategy – a few tears are to be expected, but don’t make it worse by lingering! Plan your goodbye and exit ahead of time.
Your centre director can give you more great advice on preparing for the first day, so feel free to ask if you need more support.

What to expect on your first day
It’s natural for parents and children to feel a bit anxious on the first day but rest assured, our educators will be there to help you both through the drop off and goodbyes.

On your first day, areas will be set up for your child including a locker or basket for their belongings and a family pocket for parent information. At the end of the day, the Centre Director will let you know how your child settled in and what experiences and relationships they have engaged in, and you will probably have received updates during the day through the Storypark app as well.

Settling in and dealing with separation anxiety
The Centre Director will be in regular contact with you during the first few weeks to check that your expectations of the centre are being met and to ensure you and your child are settling in well.

The educators in your child’s room will also be in contact with you to discuss the routines within the centre and room, and share with you the experiences your child has participated in during the day.

Most children settle in happily after a couple of weeks, but separation anxiety is quite common so don’t worry if your child takes a little longer. We have plenty of strategies we can work through together to make the centre a place your child will love attending.

Learning through play
Once you and your child are settled and into a comfortable routine, you’ll start to notice more about the way we do things at Goodstart – and to the untrained eye, it all just looks like play! So are children actually learning?

Well yes, they are in fact learning and developing in so many ways. Learning through play is what comes naturally to children and our skilled educators and teachers build on this natural curiosity to help children develop their social-emotional skills, literacy and numeracy skills, and physical development.

Play based learning is perfect for children of all ages and you can learn more about our approach with babies, toddlers and pre-school aged children in these articles.

Learn more about our approach to early learning here, and find a centre near you.
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