Office for Children Offers School Readiness Resources to Families

Governor Bob McDonnell has declared August School Readiness Month in Virginia, and the Office for Children has a number of school readiness resources for Fairfax County families.

"School readiness means that preschool children enter kindergarten well prepared for a positive school experience. Physical development, health and social/emotional well-being, language, literacy and motor skills contribute to each child's overall success within a school setting," explains Office for Children Director Anne-Marie Twohie.

Preparation for school success begins long before a child reaches school age. As Governor McDonnell's proclamation states, "The first five years of life create the physical, cognitive, social and emotional foundation for school readiness ... children who have a variety of quality early childhood experiences with parents, caregivers and teachers begin school healthy and ready to learn."

Parents can find useful information about how to help their children develop school readiness skills in a booklet produced by Fairfax Futures, a local nonprofit that supports school readiness. "Helping Your Child Love to Learn" outlines simple, everyday activities parents can enjoy with their children from infancy through age 5. Its' available as a free download in English and Spanish from the Office for Children's website.

During the remaining weeks of summer, families can help children who are transitioning into kindergarten by partnering with child care professionals and kindergarten teachers to arrange visits to the schools their children will attend. Parents and child care professionals can also check these books out from the library to read with children:

"Henry's 100 Days of Kindergarten" by Nancy L. Carlson.

"Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten" by Joseph Slate.

"My Kindergarten" by Rosemary Wells.

"Welcome to Kindergartent" by Anne F. Rockwell.

"Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come" by Nancy L. Carlson.

"First Day Jitters" by Julie Danneberg.

"Countdown to Kindergarten" by Alison McGhee.

The Fairfax County Office for Children can help parents find child care programs for children who will need child care before or after school this fall. Call 703-449-8484, or search the Office for Children's child care database.


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