So hard to believe that Miss L is at kindergarten this year. In WA the year you turn 4 before July you go to kindy. I personally feel it is too early to start school, especially as the Finnish start at 7 and have one of the highest education systems worldwide. Even Petra our Finnish au pair was shocked at how early they start and that we don't teach languages! So here is tiny Miss L, just toilet trained off to start school. She is the only one of my 3 never to go to day care or pre kindy before starting school.
So the year started off with some bad news. Last year the Government cut funding to all schools and changed the funding models, this includes special needs. So last year the paperwork was sent off for a special needs assistant for Miss L and it was rejected. The new system requires detailed evidence including test results before they will approve it. The admin of the school were amazing and had been ringing people in every department asking for help. I fully expected them to say L couldn't be at school until it was sorted. Nope. They were passing ideas around on how they could make it work. In the end I said I didn't mind staying with her until it was sorted. Being a teacher myself I know how stressful it is getting to know each child let alone getting to know all the needs of a special needs child.
So before school started I am running around contacting every Doctor and specialist I can think of to get the paperwork we need. The downside of it all being that they have to hand them in and write the reports. As if these Drs aren't busy enough... A week later and I am still waiting.
This year as Miss L didn't get a place at our local school she going to a community kindy, which isn't attached physically to the school. They use a council building and are run by a parent committee. So of course on parent night I put my hand up to help, cos it's not like I don't volunteer enough anyway lol. So I am now the secretary of the kindy. As a board we work with the teacher to make decisions on how the kindy is run. We decide on the speakers for the year, where the money goes and any improvements to be made. It's fantastic to see how hands on we all can be.
So for the first week L went for a few hours on 2 days. It was good to see how she fitted in with everyone and what challenges there would be. The biggest concern is her choking and aspirating. Sure enough on both days she choked on food and had to be stopped putting things in her mouth. Today was her first full day. She doesn't tend to attach herself to me and she has a good friend with her. At fruit time she choked on watermelon and at lunch 3 times she choked on food. At mat time she found a tiny bead and went to put it in her mouth. You have to be so vigilant and on top of her. I spoke to the teacher who is the loveliest person ever and let her know. She said the problem with me being there is they will begin to rely on me and won't know what signs to watch out for to see if L is in trouble. I 100% agree. They need an aide asap so all the staff can get to know her without me and they can all act together.
After lunch it was time to go home! I didn't think L would last all day especially as she still sleeps 2 hours in the afternoon. We left around 1pm for a quick sleep then time for pick up with the big kids.
I am so looking forward to seeing L grow and progress this year and hopefully reduce the gap between her and her peers.