If you have concerns about how your child will cope with preschool and want to prepare them for their first experience with the education system as much as you can, see these useful tips.

Start adopting the preschool's schedule at home

The preschool you pick for your child will probably send you an information packet, which may include details about the educational supplies your child will need to bring with them, any dietary guidelines the school follows and a print-out of its daily schedule.

You should keep this schedule on hand and try to follow it at home in the weeks leading to your child's first day at this school. For example, if the schedule indicates that the children will be spending an hour in the morning on art and craft activities, an hour on reading and writing work, after which they have their lunch and a nap, you should aim to adopt a similar routine during the weeks before your child's first day.

This will get your child used to spending periods of the day doing educational activities and will get them into the habit of having their nap at the time that they'll be allowed to have it when they're at school. If you gradually adopt this schedule now, your child should find the experience of following it when they start much less jarring. They will, therefore, be less likely to have tantrums on the way to preschool or to refuse to participate in their lessons when they get there. They should also find it easier to fall asleep at their allocated naptime at the school, which should prevent them from getting tired at other times of the day when they'll be expected to participate in educational activities.

Set up a few playdates for them with children who will be going to their preschool

It might also be a good idea to contact any parents who have enrolled their kids in the school you've chosen for your own child, and ask if they would like their children to go on a few playdates with your son or daughter. If the kids get along well, this could make your child's first month or so at preschool much easier, as there will be a few familiar faces in their classroom that they will already like and be happy to play with.

This could be particularly helpful if you have any worries about your child being left out or being too shy to make friends, as having a couple of ready-made friendships should reduce the chances of them spending their early school days on their own, without anyone they feel comfortable enough to talk to.