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posted: 8/15/2012 2:53 PM

Help get your child ready for preschool

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Submitted by the Palatine Park District

The Palatine Park District offers a state licensed preschool for children ages 3-5, with experienced teachers offering a variety of developmentally appropriate activities designed to help children learn and grow socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually.

Class size is limited to 20 students, led by two experienced teachers and an assistant. The program follows the calendar for days off school determined by District 15.

Preschool classes for the 2012-2013 school year will be Sept. 10-May 24. Morning and afternoon options are available for various age groups throughout the week. For complete program details, including times and fees, visit

Preschool registration requires a separate form, which is available from Birchwood Recreation Center, 435 W. Illinois Ave. For program availability, call (847) 991-1960.

Limited space is still available for fall registration at PPD's four preschool program locations: Birchwood, 435 W. Illinois Ave.; Eagle Park, 1425 N. Oak St. at Home Avenue; Maple Park, 316 N. Winston at Anderson; Parkside, 262 E. Palatine Road in Community Park.

No matter where your child will be attending preschool, it is important to make sure that they are prepared for this new adventure. The following tips have been compiled by Karen Rude, preschool/tots coordinator at Palatine Park District.

1. Teach your child to handle bathroom needs without assistance, including wiping and managing clothing. Plan for easy to manage school clothes (elastic waists and sweats are best). It's frustrating and embarrassing to have an accident because you can't unbuckle a stiff belt or unfasten a shoulder strap on your overalls.

2. Help your child learn to dress him/herself, including putting on shoes and jackets. The teachers will help with tying shoes and starting zippers.

3. Teach your child to wash his/her hands without help, including turning faucets on and off, using liquid soap, and drying hands. At school we wash hands upon arrival at school, before snack, after blowing noses, and after using the bathroom.

4. Teach your child to use a tissue to wipe or blow his/her nose, including disposing of the tissue and washing hands.

5. If English is not spoken at home, the teachers will try to help your child learn some basic English words and phrases so he or she can understand simple directions and communicate his/her needs. We may ask you to write down some words or phrases in your home language so we can communicate more easily with your child at the beginning of school.

6. Be sure your child has had the experience of playing at a friend's house or staying with a baby-sitter. Children who have never been left with anyone other than a family member sometimes have a difficult time adjusting to preschool.

7. Take your child to story time at the library and check out a book about starting school.

8. Be positive yourself -- children can pick up your apprehensions.

9. You do not need to buy fancy new clothes for school -- play clothes and gym shoes are perfect for class. Your child will need a backpack or bag to carry papers home.