Health Checklist: Is Your Preschooler Ready For School?
The school year is getting closer by the minute, and we know most parents can feel overwhelmed by the number of things you need to do in order to get your preschooler ready for school. So amongst all of the mess, and the to-do lists, it wouldn’t be surprising if you forgot something.
Are you asking yourself, ‘Is My Preschooler Ready For School?’
If you are, there is one crucial checkup you shouldn’t forget, and that is making sure your child is healthy (both physically and mentally). In this article, we’ll talk about the governmental four-year-old check-up practice, what it includes, and how it can help you to prepare your preschooler ready for school.
The importance of school readiness
The notion of school readiness describes a set of physical, emotional, social and developmental skills. This can be assessed to determine whether a child is ready to start with formal education. When speaking of the emotional, social and developmental skills, parents and early childhood educators have a major role in their development. Other important assessments can be provided by occupational therapists and paediatric speech pathologists.
The four-year-old checkup
The four-year-old checkup was a program provided by the Government in order to assist parents with assessing their child’s readiness for formal education. This program was a part of the mandatory vaccination. Unfortunately, the Government stopped funding this checkup. Nevertheless, the experience from the period when it was active proved to be a valuable tool for parents and general practitioners to identify and address any issues before a child starts school. Today, many GPs offer a similar service for a certain fee, and the Government does still offer the Family Tax Benefit for this checkup.
Important health aspects that should be monitored to determine school readiness
The four-year-old checkup should identify health and developmental issues that could pose a problem during education.
– Health, weight, and BMI
Height, weight and BMI (body mass index) are used to assess a child’s physical growth in relation to their peers. This is something that the doctors check during a regular appointment, but it is also something the parents can check on their own with the BMI calculator.
– Eating, toilet, and sleeping habits
Eating and toilet habits are something that very much depends on the child’s diet. While irregular sleeping patterns might point out some problems with stress and general health.
– Dental checkup
Regular dental visits are imperative for kids’ optimal health. Finding a quality dentist in Sydney, is necessary for keeping their teeth healthy and creating excellent oral hygiene habits, which should also be nurtured at home.
– Checking for allergies
Managing allergies in a school environment can be challenging. All the more reason to be well aware of allergens that can trigger reactions in your child. Food allergies are the first thing to check.
– Hearing test and eye check
Both a hearing and ey test can be done at the GP practice.
– Speech and language development
Communication is an essential tool for learning and socialising. If you notice any problems with pronunciation, you should pay a visit to a speech therapist and continue practising with your kid.
– Fine and gross motor skills
By the age of four, your child’s motor skills should become more refined. This is something that can be determined based on day-to-day activities (e.g. kicking a ball and colouring), but you can also discuss it with GP.
– Behaviour, mood, and emotional maturity
Finally, your observation and consultation with a child psychologist can help you determine the level of emotional maturity and any potential problems, for example, hyperactivity.
As parents, you can help your child become ready for school with some simple activities. Such as reading, talking, encouraging socialisation, drawing and writing, and teaching independence. And of course, when it comes to school readiness and early childhood development, you can always tap into the expert knowledge and guidance of our friends Donna and Angela over at Back On Track Early Childhood Professionals.
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Brigitte Evans is a Cosmetic Skin Care Consultant and writer, with a sweet tooth for makeup and everything sparkly. When she’s not drooling over the next big thing in the beauty industry, she reads health sites and makes plans for her next trip. She is the proud aunt of Sophie, age 2, who has rounded her Chanel lipstick, but she loves her anyway.