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Comfort, Independence Important for Children Entering Preschool

By DREW PARKER

Staff Writer

MOUNDSVILLE — Staff at the Marshall County Day Care Center prepare children for kindergarten and later grades each day on Barn Drive in Moundsville. However, teachers say parents have additional responsibility before taking the preschool step.

Riggs worked with area resident Barb Johnson to build the Marshall County Day Care Center, although Riggs died before the facility welcomed its first children on Sept. 6, 2006.

The center, which houses the Marshall County universal preschool for 4 year olds and a 3-year-old Head Start collaboration program, now cares for about 75 children each day. The Head Start program offers products, services and training to day care staff for infants and toddlers.

Beckie Cottage, a previous assistant director who has worked at the day care since 2010, became director in May. Prior to her time as a director, Cottage spent 20 years as a preschool instructor in the Ohio Valley.

She said parents can do various activities to get children ready for preschool, with behavioral consistency.

“They should make sure all of their physical and shot records are up to date and try to come visit the pre-school and meet the teacher and classroom prior to their first day,” Cottage said. “You should promote independence with your child at home and allow them to make choices. They should have a routine bed time.”

Cottage said positivity is important when discussing school with a small child.

“Always be positive with your child while talking about the school and teachers,” she said. “If you see that they’re going to have some type of separation anxiety, always reassure them of who will pick them up. Most parents forget to at least show the child the bathroom and the importance of handwashing policies. A lot of children have a problem with using the bathroom at school.”

Cottage also suggested regular trips to the library and reading activities for children.

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