Starting pre-school: what you'll need for the first day

So your child is making the transition to Preschool. You finally rang around all the child care centres you registered with when your baby was still in the womb and got the offer of the three days you require – albeit not the 3 days you had hoped for!

So with the start date looming, here is a list of things you may need to get.

NB. Each daycare centre or Pre-school is different as to what is required to provide – this list is just a guide – check with your centre for what is required.

Hat – Full brim, with chin strap is helpful.

Make sure you get your child used to wearing it and why not model behaviour by wearing a hat yourself to help instill that it is just “the rule – no hat no play”

Sheets  - (if your child still has a nap)

Single sheet & labelled.

If you are a little bit crafty, why not sew or embroider a name or fun shape on it – making it different from all the others.

Hardwearing clothes – you will need enough basic clothes to cover the week, many children go through two sets of clothes per day, especially when toilet training. T-shirts rather than singlets are preferred, and clothes need to be hard-wearing to cope with serious play.


Drink bottles – one for milk and one for water – there are some great no-spill ones on the market now.

Bag – and finally, with all these new things, you will need a bag to carry all the things to and from the centre every day – remember, you will be the one carrying this bag for the first few years – so keep that in mind when looking at the wiggles and Thomas backpacks in the store!

Labels – All these new things, clothes, hats, bottles will need your child’s name on them. There are lots of options – online stores to order from, a home labeller, or a permanent/fabric marker pen.

The online stores often offer daycare/school value packs which include stick-on, iron-on, shoe stickers, and bag tags which are a great one-stop solution – very easy to create an order online and arrive quickly.

But be prepared, you’ll spend time ironing all the singlets, t-shirts, trousers, and shorts, then not too long, your little one will be in the next size up and it starts again!

Other considerations for starting daycare lor Pre-school –

  • try a dry-run of the journey to and from the centre.
  • Discuss with your partner how you will manage the drop-off and pick-up times with each others work, also what to do in the instance of one of you being ill.
  • Also, look into any centrelink forms and CCB forms you may need to complete.

Finally, enjoy going back to adult life.