Preschool FAQs

What do I need to send with my child to Kinma Preschool?


Over the course of the preschool day, temperature and weather conditions may vary. It can be cold enough for coats and beanies in the morning and hot enough for t-shirts by three o’clock. Layers are recommended. Always send a set of spare clothes – more than one if your child is learning to use the toilet. In warmer weather we enjoy water play, so expect some wet clothes! Children are encouraged to participate in a wide range of experiences, some of which are messy. We encourage families to send their children in clothes that either wash well or are not their “Sunday best”.

Food and drink

Please do not send any nuts or nut butter (peanut butter, Nutella, cashew butter). The preschool has students with life threatening allergies to these foods, so it is very important to exclude any nuts from your child’s Kinma food. If your child eats any nut butter for breakfast, please wash their face and hands thoroughly before they come to preschool.

Hand towel

This is for your child’s personal use. Please sew a tag on it so it can be hung in your child’s hook in the bathroom.

Whenever possible, please label all your child’s belongings. This vastly increases the odds of any lost items being returned to you.

Preschool sandpit

What should we do on arrival?

Children need to be accompanied through the preschool gate by their parent or caregiver. Please “sign-in” next to your child’s name. This is a legal requirement for the Department of Community Services (DOCS). Encourage your child to place their belongings inside their locker. Sunscreen and natural tick repellant are provided for you to apply to your child on arrival. Staff will reapply (with your consent) later in the day.

You are most welcome to stay and participate with your child in the preschool program – for the whole day if you wish!

When the time comes for you to say goodbye…

Each family will develop their own way of saying “goodbye” over time. We encourage parents and caregivers to spend a few minutes engaging in an activity with their child. You may like to build something together at the box construction or use play dough. It can be particularly useful to involve another child in the activity so your child is already interacting with someone else when it’s time for you to leave.

Parents and caregivers are strongly encouraged to tell their child when they’re leaving. While it can be tempting to “sneak away” while your child is busy, this practice can leave children with insecurities. Occasionally a child or parent is distressed by this separation. We all sometimes find it difficult saying goodbye to people we love. If this happens, we encourage you to call the preschool after half an hour or so to check how your child has settled.

Please also remember to “sign-out” (also a DOCS requirement) and say goodbye at the end of the day. Our staff look forward to talking with you about your child’s day. Some longer conversations are better served by a meeting arranged for a mutually convenient time.

How can I be confident my child is eating and drinking while at preschool?

Two of the great pleasures in life are good food and good conversation. At Kinma, meals are usually a communal experience. However, we also acknowledge that children eat varying amounts in any one “sitting” and that they get hungry at different times. Some preschool students have been up for hours before preschool even starts, others have just had breakfast. At Kinma, children eat sitting on blankets or chairs in a specific area under the verandah. Staff eat and drink with the children.

Staff maintain a class roll and mark children off as they eat a “reasonable” amount of morning tea and then lunch. If by about 10:15am, a child has not had some morning tea, or by about two hours later they have not had some lunch, staff become more definite about their requests that the child do so. Uneaten food is sent home so you can see what has been eaten. Typically children are drawn to the “food area” by a teacher reading books aloud, or a peer wanting to “eat and talk”. As in any early childhood setting, we cannot make children eat. If we are concerned your child is not eating or drinking enough at Kinma, we will talk with you about this. Please let us know if you have this concern.

Also in the “food area” children sort their lunch rubbish into compost – which goes to feed our worm farm and chickens, materials for box construction or paper recycling and non-recyclable rubbish. Filtered water is available to the children at all times. They can serve themselves from a water cooler throughout the day. Please talk with a member of the teaching staff if you have any further questions.

preschool painting-boy

What if my child is in nappies or still learning to use the toilet?

That’s ok. Children learn to use the toilet independently at their own rate. Some children regress temporarily when something big happens in their life – like the birth of a sibling or starting preschool. Learning to use the toilet is a skill most easily achieved by children when adults maintain a calm approach. Using the toilet can be talked about as a skill that allows more time for other, more exciting activities.

Accidents elicit a gentle, “Never mind. Let’s get you into some dry clothes” and perhaps encouragement to “have a try” on the toilet. Many children learn how to use the toilet by copying others, including their preschool peers. Please talk with a member of the teaching staff if you have any further questions.

Is it OK to bring toys from home?

There are four reasons why children are asked not to bring toys from home into Kinma Preschool or Primary:

  • Children (and sometimes parents) can become very distressed if toys are lost or broken.
  • Children can be quite competitive about toys from home. Almost without exception, the most expensive toys are the ones that attract the most prestige. Staff time spent looking for “Barbie’s lost pink slipper” (a true example of a very distressed child) could be better spent enhancing the preschool program.
  • Some toys suggest a particular (and limited) type of play.
  • Encouraging children to “make their own” helps develop a myriad of skills.

Do the preschool children have a rest/sleep time?

Because the preschool does not offer a long daycare program, we do not run an official “rest time”. Throughout the day, children are offered a balance of active experiences and quieter, more restful things, less taxing on a young person’s developing “interpersonal skills”. Soft pillows in a quiet nook are always available to a sleepy child and individual children avail themselves of these from time to time. You may find your child falls asleep in the car on the way home from Kinma or falls asleep much earlier on Kinma nights than on other nights.

Still have questions?

We welcome you to Kinma preschool and look forward to getting to know you and your child. If you have any further questions, please ask any of the staff.