Getting ready for kindergarten can be fun and a little scary. If you are the parent or guardian of a child getting ready for kindergarten, it is important to be prepared. Children in medical daycare often have extra needs that a school district will need to know about in order to make the transition as seamless as possible. Here are a few tips to make things easier in New Jersey Schools.
- Talk with the social worker. Medical daycare has a social worker on staff that is very knowledgeable about the registration process and services that are available for you and your child.
- Don’t wait too long. If your child has medical or developmental needs, the school district will need time to do testing and work with the child study team to ensure the correct placement for your child. Don’t wait until school is over for the summer when the availability of people who can help you is limited.
- IPOC’s (Interdisciplinary Plan of Care). Our Plan of Care meetings have input from the Director of Nursing, The Social Worker, The Teacher, The Dietician and all therapies as necessary. This meeting generates a report that can be useful to a school district since it outlines everything from medical needs and medications, to therapies and educational goals and even dietary requirements. If you need any copies, just ask.
- Talk with the teacher. Having your child in medical daycare will make the transition easier because they are already used to a classroom routine. The teacher on staff will have recommendations for the educational needs of your child and may be able to give recommendations to the school directly.
- Start with your school district. Call the school district or go on their website to learn important dates and the process for registration. If your child needs any special accommodations, the child study team should be contacted in writing. Our social worker can help with this too.
- Reach out to the school nurse. Let the nurse know about your child’s medical concerns. Ask her what she needs to insure a smooth transition of your child’s medical care. Our director of nursing can communicate any needs to the school nurse to help assure the process is quick and painless.
New schools, new friends, new teachers and new schedules can cause children to be scared or nervous about going to kindergarten. Here are some tips to alleviate their anxiety.
- School Orientation. Ask the school if there is a scheduled parent/child orientation day. This will give you an opportunity to tour the school, meet the teachers and seek out potential peers, some of which your child may already know. This could be of great help alleviating first day jitters.
- Talk with your Children. Talking about Kindergarten and the excitement of new friends will prepare your child for the change in their routine. Getting your child excited to learn and grow will also ease their transition.
In closing: As a child enrolled in medical daycare, the children already have the benefit of having an IPOC (Interdisciplinary Plan of Care) in place much like an IEP (Individual Education Plan). This means that our diversified team has detected and or evaluated and addressed areas of concern. Treatment such as: Occupational, physical and speech therapy, as well as academic, dietary, medical and behavioral plans have already begun. Often many parents learn of their child’s special needs once they reach kindergarten. A parent of a child who has attended medical daycare has already implemented a plan to address those needs. It is important that your child receives continuous care, therefore sharing your child’s most recent IPOC (Interdisciplinary Plan of Care) with your child’s new school and the school’s child study team is very important for your child to receive optimum care.
We love having the children with us and are proud to have served the families while they are in our attendance. We are always happy to provide any additional help during and after they transition into their school district. Congratulations recent graduates. Come back to visit us!
Written by Karen Thompson, B.S.Ed. With Tami Renshaw, Atlantic City Site, NJ Coordinator
Providence Pediatric Medical Daycare is a loving, caring environment for children with special medical needs. PPMD has daycare facilities located throughout Southern New Jersey, in Camden, West Berlin, and Atlantic City.