Get Ready For Prep

Starting prep is often a daunting and overwhelming process for children (and parents!). There has been a recent surge of information in the media about the difficulties many children are having in school due to the increased demands of the curriculum and the expectations surrounding school readiness. The transition from young childhood years to school age requires adequate preparation and specialised support.

Access Therapy Services’ paediatric Occupational Therapy team have designed a unique and individualised program for children starting prep in 2017.  The ‘Get Ready for Prep’ program has been professionally designed to build on the foundational skills required to make the transition into prep easier and less stressful. The program has been specifically designed in a group format with a high staff-to-child ratio to ensure maximum individual benefit while increasing group confidence and social skills. There will be 2 staff members (occupational therapist and an occupational therapy assistant) to 6 children (max).  Our team is passionate about helping your child develop and enhance introductory skills required to ensure readiness for learning in prep and an easy and smooth transition for everyone. 

Due to our commitment to provide an individualised and occupational therapy specific program, places are exclusive and limited!

The GET READY FOR PREP program will be beneficial if:

  • You or your child’s early childhood teacher believes your child may benefit from further developing any of the foundational skills covered in this program.
  • You are unsure or concerned about your child’s readiness for Prep.
  • Your child has not attended childcare or kindergarten and you would like to give them the opportunity to participate in structured activities and tasks.
  • Your child already receives support for difficulties with the skills listed below and you would like them to develop these in a group environment.
  • You want to build on skills your child already has to ensure the easiest transition into formal learning.

WHAT ARE THE FOUNDATIONAL SKILLS AND WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT?

The following skills are some of the core components that Occupational Therapists focus on to help children become more competent for them to function independently in a school environment.

  • Fine Motor Skills
    • Writing and drawing: Development of grip, hand strength and endurance in hand muscles are the first steps in the process of learning how to write and draw. The program focuses on many areas of pre-writing and drawing to ensure children will be ready for the demands in these areas in Prep.
    • Dressing: Fine motor control and coordination are necessities in the early stages of learning how to do up buttons, zips and shoe laces.
    • Eating: Opening lunch boxes, zip lock bags and food wrappers are skills that all require a high standard of fine motor ability to ensure independence at lunchtime.
  • Self-care and Organisational Skills
    • Finding and opening lunch boxes: It is important for children to learn to recognise their name, as it is a core skill requirement in Prep and early schooling years. This will help in their early letter recognition and reading skills.
    • Managing clothing and toileting: Children need to learn to manage their clothing to independently use the toilet to build their confidence and self esteem.
    • Identifying and taking care of their belongings: This is a useful tool for children and parents. In a classroom, due to the number of children-to-staff, children are required to be responsible for their belongings. This skill will be valuable for at home too.
    • Getting used to a routine: Whilst children have routines prior to school they tend to be more flexible, however, a day in the classroom involves a number of scheduled changes with little room for flexibility. This is one of the major challenges that come with the transition into Prep, as many children haven’t experienced such a structured environment. Getting your child prepared for this prior to the start of Prep will help them to ease into the learning environment in a more focused and attentive manner. 
  • Attention and Listening Skills
    • Practice sitting and learning: Coming from free time at home or a play based Kindy program where there are only brief periods of having to sit still and pay attention is a difficult task.
    • Steps required for listening: In most learning environments children are given instructions and information verbally. It is essential that your child learns how to listen properly in an environment similar to their schooling environment (where there are a number of distractions) in order for them to retain important information effectively.
    • Following and responding to explicit instruction: It is important for children develop their ability to follow more complex instructions. This will aid in their ability to display initiative and independence in the classroom when tasks are set.
  • Whole Body Awareness
    • Left and right concepts: This concept is embedded into all aspects of life from intrinsically knowing we read and write from the left to the right of the page or following directions.
    • Gross motor skills:Building large muscle strength, endurance and hand-eye coordination are all important underlying factors for the development of writing posture and stability, staying alert and being able to engage in play.
    • Awareness of own, and others’, position in the environment: When a child is developing their spatial awareness, they begin to become aware of their place in relation to the things around them. They are central to this, and they need to understand their location as well as concepts like distance, speed and placement (e.g. over, under, behind etc.).
    • How the body feels with different emotions:This is the first step in learning to identify what emotion they are feeling and how to deal with it.
  • Emotional Regulation
    • Relaxation and calming techniques: Part of emotional regulation is teaching a child resilience and coping strategies such as mindfulness based interventions and techniques. Mindfulness allows children to feel more flexible, open and curious to their emotions creating an early inner compass of individual awareness.  By utilising mindfulness based interventions and strategies it teaches a child to cope better with their emotions and struggle less with difficult thoughts and feelings particularly at school when a focused learning environment can be challenging.
    • Begin to identify own and others’ feelings: The first step in regulation of emotions is to learn to understand the different emotions we feel and how they impact our functioning. When children can start to identify their emotions they will also be able to identify emotions of others and develop a greater level of empathy, essential to social interaction.
    • Skills for making themselves feel secure and confident: This is important for helping children to cope with separation anxiety and anxieties around transitioning into a completely new environment.
  • Social Skills
    • Build confidence to ask for help: It is important that your child is confident in a group setting so that they can access the necessary resources from the classroom environment and teacher. Children need to be active participants in a group environment so that they can contribute to the classroom and ask questions when they are unsure about a concept.
    • Forming and problem solving friendships: Forming friendships is a highly important developmental skill and will give children the necessary skills for social interaction throughout their life.
    • Learning to be an active member of a group: Our team will aspire to nurture an environment that promotes confidence in all children and allows them to feel like a valued team member. This will assist them to fit into the classroom group easier as they have prior experience and knowledge of their ability to do so.
    • Develop ability to learn collaboratively: Your child will be learning in a collaborative environment throughout their schooling life, both in the classroom and in the playground. Learning how to manage team dynamics and how to work together is an important skill and will be highly encouraged in this program.

Occupational Therapy empowers children to take charge of their development, which in turn, promotes a greater sense of wellbeing and self-confidence. By working on these foundational skills, children will have a positive start to the schooling experience. If a child feels unable to cope in this new environment where they feel different to their peers, it may impact negatively on their mental, social and physical wellbeing/ health.

WHEN & WHERE IS THE PROGRAM RUNNING?

Access Therapy Services: 144 Ross River Road, Mundingburra

School Holidays

The program duration is 1 WEEK. There will be 4 available program blocks.

MON TUES WED THURS FRI

BLOCK 1

9th  – 13th Jan

8:00 – 10:00am 8:00 – 10:00am 8:00 – 10:00am 8:00 – 10:00am 8:00 – 10:00am

BLOCK 2

9th  – 13th Jan

2:00 – 4:00pm 2:00 – 4:00pm 2:00 – 4:00pm 2:00 – 4:00pm 2:00 – 4:00pm

BLOCK 3

16th– 20th Jan

8:00 – 10:00am 8:00 – 10:00am 8:00 – 10:00am 8:00 – 10:00am 8:00 – 10:00am

BLOCK 4

16th– 20th Jan

2:00 – 4:00pm 2:00 – 4:00pm 2:00 – 4:00pm 2:00 – 4:00pm 2:00 – 4:00pm



School Term

The program duration is 5 WEEKS. There will be 1 available program block.

WK 1 WK 2 WK 3 WK 4 WK 5

BLOCK 5

6th Feb – 6th Mar

8:00 – 10:00am 8:00 – 10:00am 8:00 – 10:00am 8:00 – 10:00am 8:00 – 10:00am

WHAT IS THE STAFF-TO-STUDENT RATIO AND WHO ARE THE STAFF?

Due to our commitment to providing a customised program there will be no more than 6 children to 2 staff per session. This  means that the places are exclusive and limited so book your child's place quickly to avoid missing out!

There are 2 Occupational Therapists on our team and one Occupational Therapy Assistant.

Meet the Team!

Dina Whelan (OT)

I am an occupational therapist with a breadth of personal and professional experience in paediatrics. I have worked in various paediatric settings including:

  • Early intervention units
  • Private paediatric clinics
  • Running support groups for parents of children with a disability.
  • I am a parent of two children in the early years of schooling one starting their journey into Prep

I am passionate about assisting children to be confident and happy by developing the necessary skills to assist in their daily life whether that be at home, school or the playground. I am committed to working with families to ensure therapy is client centred and incorporates a child’s interests and strengths.

Dianne Steel (OT)

I am an occupational therapist (OT) with experience working with several local schools.  I am passionate about working with children to identify their preferred learning style so they can participate successfully in learning and play, and develop the skills necessary for all stages of their life.  I specifically have experience in:

  • Assessing fine motor function and providing practical recommendations
  • Evaluating sensory preferences to create an optimal environment for participation
  • Practicing OT with children in a fun and creative way
  • Running small groups to teach relaxation techniques, including deep breathing exercises, visual imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation
  • Assisting children to develop skills to regulate their emotions

I am also a mum to three young children.  With my second child about to embark on the ‘big’ school journey next year, I understand the rewards and challenges the transition to school brings.  I want to share my knowledge and experience to make the transition easier and more enjoyable for all involved.

Kira Cranswick (OT Assistant)

I am an occupational therapy student and am currently in my fourth year of study. I have always been passionate about working with children and teenagers, having previously been involved in volunteer programs, swimming teaching, and tutoring. I am constantly learning from the OTs at ATS and have been fortunate enough to have placement in paediatric settings over the last three years.

The experiences in my life contributing to my love of working with children, specifically in an OT environment are as follows:

  • Volunteering in an Early Intervention Centre in Fiji
  • Tutoring children of all ages with developmental delays and learning difficulties
  • 7 week OT placement in rural WA working with young Indigenous children and school readiness
  • Co-running a kindergarten group working on core school readiness concepts

As a team we are passionate about reaching collaborative goals with your child and your family. We are dedicated to quality service provision and have designed this program to reach a specialised and specific goal for each individual child. We want to help you and your child GET READY FOR PREP!

WHAT ARE THE COSTS?

  • EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: $399 (Book before 22nd December)
  • Bookings after 22nd December: $449 (Bookings close on 5th January 2018)

Spaces are limited and the program will fill up quickly so to avoid disappointment (and to enjoy the early bird booking) secure your child's place as soon as possible!

You may be eligible for rebate through your private medical insurance/ company if you have extras cover

The costs include:

  • A full week of individualised support
  • Access to a member's only closed Facebook page for support and discussions with parents and an occupational therapist – open for the duration of term 1
  • Take home toolkit containing strategies and resources to assist your child with the transition and skills required throughout the term which includes:
    • A take home social story to help with the transition
    • Pre writing skills worksheets
    • Visual routine for mornings
    • Super tummy time buddy for relaxation and breathing techniques
  • A one-on-one feedback session for parents with the occupational therapist at the completion of the program

To book or for more information contact us

Email: with the subject heading: GRFP

Phone our office on 47791886

Please detail your preference of block/s for enrollment  

Location

140 Ross River Road, Mundingburra
Townsville, QLD 4812

Office Hours

Monday-Friday: 8.30am to 4.30pm
Weekend: Closed

Contact Details

Phone: (07) 4779 1886
Fax: (07) 4779 2446
Email:

Admin Panel