By Arwen Hann
Starting school is a major milestone in any child’s life but it can be stressful, and the success or otherwise of the transition period between childcare or preschool can set the tone for a child’s academic career.
However while the focus is often on the children it can also be a stressful time for parents.
A study by Maureen Woodhams found that parents often have very clear ideas about their role in the transition period but can worry about whether they will be able to fulfil them.
For her study Woodhams interviewed a number of families one month before their child was due to start school and again one month after they had started. She also ran a number of discussion groups with the families to enable them to discuss their experiences with each other.
One of the most important things for parents was to get as much information as possible about the chosen school.
As well as talking to others to get word-of-mouth information, a key part of this process was to visit the school to gain first-hand experience.
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