Transitioning to School (KinderStart)

Young child engaging in a preschool setting

Supporting your child’s health and wellbeing: Transitioning to school (KinderStart)

KinderStart is a school transition program that is offered to young children in the year before they start Kindergarten.

Public Health is here to help support your child’s health and wellbeing as they prepare for Kinderstart. Families often have questions when their children start school. Some of the common health concerns are addressed below.

The role of the public health nurse (click to expand) »

The public health nurse supports families in keeping their children healthy by:

  • Supporting school communities in disease prevention and management (e.g., handwashing, head lice, scabies)
  • Promoting healthy eating, healthy behaviours and healthy lifestyle choices.
  • Providing immunizations according to the provincial immunization schedule.
  • Providing education for school staff and families
  • Referring families to other service providers (e.g., audiometry, optometry, lifestyle clinic) when necessary.
Preventing illness (click to expand) »

Please ensure that the public health nurse for your school has a current immunization record for your child. The public health nurse will review student records to ensure immunization status is up-to-date.

Preventing and managing head lice (click to expand) »

Dealing with head lice can be frustrating. Some people are embarrassed that their family has head lice, but it may help to talk with a public health nurse.

Healthy eating (click to expand) »

Eating well is one of the most important things parents and caregivers can do for their children’s health.

Immunization (click to expand) »

Your child will be offered vaccinations according to the provincial immunization schedule and direction.

  • Preschool health check (age 4)
    Call your local Public Health office to make an appointment.

    • Developmental screening
    • Immunizations
  • School vaccination program
    Offered in specific grades according to provincial immunization schedule with written consent from parent/guardian.
Allergies (click to expand) »

Allergies are common among school-aged children. All families have a role to play in keeping children safe.

  • There may be children in your school who have life-threatening allergies. Inform the school if your child has a life-threatening allergy.
  • Your school may restrict certain food items in the classroom or within the whole school.
  • Learn about being allergy aware.
Physical activity (click to expand) »

Movement is an important part of healthy living at any age. It is essential for children.

Personal hygiene (click to expand) »

Good hygiene practices help prevent the spread of certain diseases.

  • Teach your child how to wash their hands; it is the most effective way to stop the spread of disease.
  • Children should bathe:
    • once or twice a week;
    • when they get dirty (e.g., playing in the mud);
    • after being in a pool, lake, ocean or other body of water; and
    • as often as directed, if being treated for skin problems.
Sleep (click to expand) »

Preschool and school-age children typically require 10-12 hours of sleep every night to be rested and alert during the day.

For tips and resources, please visit: Sleep habits for children.

Child car safety (click to expand) »

As parents, you want to keep your child safe. The proper use of car seats is an important part of keeping your child safe. You can:

  • Learn about the four stages of child safety in vehicles.
  • Choose the stage that is right for your child.
  • Correctly install a child seat in your car.
  • Safely and properly buckle up your child in a child seat, even for short trips.
  • Remember that the back seat is always the safest place for your child.

For more information and resources, please visit: Car seat safety.

Head injury prevention (click to expand) »

Head injuries are the number one cause of serious injury and death to kids on bicycles. ​Bike helmet use can make a dramatic difference, cutting the risk of serious head injury by up to 80 per cent.

Choose the right helmet for each activity, make sure it fits correctly; and that it is certified (meets approved CSA standards).

For more information and resources, please visit: Helmets.

Sexuality (click to expand) »

Parents are the first and most important sexual health educators of their child. As a parent of a young child, talking about healthy sexuality may not seem like a topic you should be considering so early – but it is!

Learn more: Sexual health – young child (birth-5).

School readiness (click to expand) »

Many parents think children are ready for school if they’ve learned certain academic activities, such as knowing the alphabet. In fact, school readiness means much more.

It means that children start school with the basic skills they need to learn to read, write and count. It also means that children are healthy and able to get along with others.

Learn more: Is my child ready for school?

Free online positive parenting program (click to expand) »

Parents Empowering Kids is a free online program for parents of children ages 3-6. Learn more at Bridge the Gapp.

Enjoy the Journey!

  • The road to success in school begins early. ​
  • Good health, loving and respectful relationships, parental support, and praise all help children do well later in life.​
  • As a parent, you are the most important person in your child’s life.

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Last updated: 2022-02-18