- A child is interested in learning, is familiar with pencil work, is interested in letters and numbers and has language abilities including sufficient vocabulary, and an ability to interpret and understand what is being said.
- In addition to knowledge and abilities, learning skills also include sufficient social and emotional maturity; e.g. tolerance for disappointments, readiness to be separated from parents for the day and cooperation with new adults, e.g. teachers and assistants. A child with learning skills is independent and does not need assistance and is capable of self care as well as his or her gear.
- Such a child can interact with other children and follow instructions. These skills help a child through his or her first school year but are not a requirement for starting school. At school children practise also these skills.
Sometimes during the pre-primary education year, parents or pre-primary education teachers may feel concerns about a child’s starting entry. Maybe the preschooler is not very interested in pre-primary education assignments, is fidgety or working together with others in his or her pre-primary education classroom may prove difficult. Parents should talk about their apprehensions regarding their child to the pre-primary education classroom workers. If there are any concerns over their preschooler’s entry to school, with the parents’ permission, the child can be referred to a school psychologist for learning skills assessment.
Parents, workers in the pre-primary education classroom, school psychologist and others who may be working with the child, may arrange a meeting to discuss and make arrangements in issues regarding the child’s entry to school.
- In the meeting, the participants decide on supportive measures, which will help the child with his or her school entry. The participants also decide what information about the child will be provided to the school teacher.
- Most often a child in need of support starts in his or her local school with the help of supportive measures. Occasionally more intensive assistance is required and then the parents can apply for a placement in a small group.
- If necessary, school entry may also be delayed by one year. In that case, parents draw up an informal application letter for delayed school entry. Also this option should be discussed with the workers in the pre-primary education classroom of the child as they will help with the process.