You will notice that in April and May that the signs advertising for preschool start coming out. Basically, they are telling parents to sign-up now for a shot at getting into their particular preschool. It is important to start checking out potential preschools now before the frenzy of August hits so that you can get into the one you want. As with starting regular school, there is a lot of paperwork that you need to fill out and have on hand to show the preschool.
The first most important item to have is a certified copy of your child’s birth certificate. Now is the time to start looking for it. If your child was born out of state and you need to send away for it, keep in mind that it will take several weeks to arrive. A fee may be required for getting certified copies. Schools will not accept copies made on a copy machine. They want the stamped or original version. The preschool will make a copy of the birth certificate for their records.
The second important item to acquire is your child’s immunization records. Preschools require this because preschoolers get exposed to a lot of other things from other children. The doctor’s office will give you a copy specifically for this purpose. Usually the doctors know what shots to give. The school also has a listing of the required shots.
A physical within the year is also needed. Physicals have a one year expiration date. So, you will have to take them to the doctor for a yearly checkup at sometime in the near future. Schedule an appointment at a time that is convenient for you, but don’t wait until the last minute. Doctor’s offices will be packed with students of all grades trying to get their physical. While you are there, get a copy of their immunization records to save a trip.
You also want to get any special instructions written down from your doctor. Allergies, medications, and any special considerations should be written down for your school to keep in your child’s file. You should also make a copy for your teachers to keep handy.
For schools that have a state-run preschool program, you will need something called a certificate. It is basically a form that you fill out for the state program. You will need to take your child’s birth certificate with you when you fill one out. Usually, these certificates are given out in March or April. Check with either the school or the state’s education website for more information on where and when these certificates can be obtained.
It will be necessary for you to have all of this paperwork ready before that first day. Getting it together early will help you with your stress levels and dealing with the first time that your preschooler will be going to school.