Our preschool does an accompanied visit before the start date and you get to meet their key worker, I also took note of all the things they seemed to enjoy most and kept mentioning it before they started, the keyworker also asked for a list of their likes and dislikes so they can work around it to settle them in. I don't do painting at home so it stays a special pre-school thing and they love bringing their pictures home for my kitchen wall.
My middle daughter still has days where she doesn't want to go a year on but staying positive at drop off times and doing a quick hand over to her key worker seems the best way to calm her fast, she knows mummy will be back at lunchtime expecting a new painting and just gets on with it once I'm out of sight!
I also did the same when my eldest daughter started school last September. According to her teacher, the ones dropped off with a quick kiss and hug and no fuss settle better and faster than ones allowed to make a fuss about it.
My son started nursury school back in september, and is about to start reception this september. Its important to make the most of the visits they offer...i had a list of question i wanted to ask. You fill in forms about their likes and dislikes and areas of their strengts etc...I also started walking the school run with my friends so my son was able to see everyone going to school and comming home.
I think the most important thing was talking to my son and telling him to enjoy himself, make friends and listen to his teachers. There is an excellent service called north pole.net (i think???). Its a video message you arrange from Santa Clause, you select different things for Santa Clause to say to your child via this video message. My son was very impressed, and seemed to take notice of santa asking him try very hard at quiet time and to always listen to his teachers!!
OMG, I have no tips but what an awesome discussion. Mia sarts her 15 hours in Jannext year and i've just booked for to do 2 hours a week to try and make some friends cos we don't know any kids in the area and we can only afford to send her for 2 hours a week. She isn't shy so when we went to fill the forms in she naffed off and left me to play with the other kids so I'm not really nervous but I can't wait to read the article because it'll be really helpful for me.