Sending your child off to school for the first time is a momentous occasion for any family. It an also be fraught with anxiety. Is my child ready? Will he or she be happy in school?
The Kimberley Early Years Team is once again offering an opportunity to parents of pre-school children to participate in the Kimberley Ages and Stages Project.
In its fifth year, this community initiative provides a fun way for parents of every pre-school child to compile a ‘book of memories’ by completing the Ages and Stages Questionnaires at regular intervals during their child’s early years.
Diana Card, ASQ Project Coordinator and Chair of the Kimberley Early Years Team, says that research shows that up to 30 per cent of children in School District 6 are not ready for school.
The Ages and Stages Project is an easy way to get an idea of where your child is developmentally. It is intended to reduce the number of children that start school vulnerable by supporting parents and children at the earliest, most effective time.
Parents simply fill out a questionnaire.
“Each child is unique and parents are the experts on their child,” Card said. “This project is designed to provide a tool for parents to gain insights into the stages and diversity of development. Parents gain confidence in their understanding of their child’s progress, celebrate their child’s strengths, and learn fun ideas for supporting their next steps.
If parents have questions or concerns, they will receive information, helpful activities and, if desired, support so that they can connect with appropriate service providers. All information is confidential and questionnaires are retained by the parents.
“The questionnaires can be used as a one-time snapshot; however, we are encouraging families to do them regularly (every six months or so) right up until school in order for them to gain an understanding of the broad range of developmental milestones and the ebb and flow of development. We hope that this reduces unnecessary stress while encouraging parents to support next steps. And, as one mom pointed out, you create a great ‘baby book’ out of it.”
Parents will learn about fun developmentally appropriate activities, parenting resources and community family programs through the Kimberley Ages & Stages Project. For further information, please contact Diana Card, Project Coordinator at 250-427-0716 or firstname.lastname@example.org.