The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone and the Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD, today launched an initiative for children and families – Let’s Get Ready – a gov.ie resource to support young children and their parents/guardians plan for returning to Early Learning and Care (ELC) settings or transitioning to pre-school or primary school for the first time.
As Early Learning and Care settings plan to reopen from 29 June, the Let’s Get Ready website provides guidance for children and parents preparing to return these settings. There is a particular focus on new public health requirements introduced in response to COVID-19.
The Let’s Get Ready website also focuses on children preparing to attend pre-school or primary school for the first time from this September. Let’s Get Ready includes guidance for parents on practical steps they can take to support their children over these coming months and tips on what children and parents can expect on their transition or return to pre-school and primary school.
A transitions pack for children starting primary school is soon to be distributed through a range of channels, including through City and County Childcare Committees (CCCS), Early Learning and Care settings and Home School Liaison Officers. This pack includes a tip sheet for parents, a transitions card for children and a ‘Mo Scéal’ transitions template developed by the National Council of Curriculum and Assessment for completion by parents. This templates enables parents to share key information with their child’s teacher and the school.
Speaking today, Minister Zappone said:
“All over the country, as early learning and care settings prepare to reopen later this month, children and families are also preparing to return to these familiar settings and to reconnect with the friends and staff who know them well. A new cohort of children are also planning to enrol in pre-school later this year.
“Transitions can create a range of emotions for children and families under normal circumstances and need to be supported. Transitions during these extraordinary times merit even greater attention.
“Let’s Get Ready is a government-led initiative that provides parents and guardians with useful tips and suggests fun play-based activities parents can do to support their children with these important transitions.”
Minister McHugh said:
“Starting in primary school is a huge milestone for children and their families. We are working hard with all the education partners on planning for school reopening, to support children’ first days, weeks and months of their primary school life.
“Let’s Get Ready will be an important way to communicate with parents as we provide further information and support about school reopening plans over the coming months.”