Back to School Supplies: Tips and Resources for Parents and Providers

August is National Back to School Month and we hope that health and safety are on your lists! Our back-to-school blog series will be populated throughout the month with topics related to health and safety. Below are also helpful tips and resources for how to prepare your children for school, especially the transition from child care to pre-K, kindergarten and/or after care programs.

Back to School Blog Series


From One Family to Another: Tips to Make the Transition Easier

By Guest blogger, Tammy, mother

One parent shares her experience on transitioning children from child care to school. From one parent to another, this mother provides tips on transitioning, including doing your homework on the child care center, interviewing the director and requesting a tour, bringing your child to the facility, maintaining a consistent drop-off schedule, and taking the transition one day at a time.

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What’s a Healthy Transition from Child Care to School Look Like?

By Adriana Skinner, Health Policy Associate, Child Care Aware® of America

For many families across the country, their little ones are going to school for the first time. Whether starting a brand new routine after being cared for in a home-based setting or if care was provided in a child care center, going to “big-kid school” is a big deal!

It is a lot of change and some of the changes can have an impact on a child’s health, for instance, the amount of active play time and the kind of meals being served.

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What to Look for in a Quality Afterschool Program

By Guest Blogger, Julie Keller, Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Intern at the Afterschool Alliance

Backpack, paper, pencils, and homework folder: for many families, that’s the standard shopping list for back-to-school season. However, one key item is missing: your child’s afterschool program! Choosing the perfect program for your child can make the transition from early child care to aftercare seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! We want to provide you with some tips that will make choosing a program easy and exciting.

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Include Emergency Planning on Your Back-to-School Checklist

By Holly Nett, Community Resilience Manager, Child Care Aware® of America

As you cross off important items on your family’s back-to-school checklist, don’t forget to be proactive in learning more about the emergency plan at your child’s school or child care program. All schools and before/afterschool child care programs should have an emergency plan in place to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergency situations, such as fires, natural disasters (tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, etc.), bomb threats, and dangerous intruders. Ask your child’s teacher or school administrator for details about their plan, and seek clarifications if you do not fully understand components of the plan.

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Health is Key to School Success

By Krista Scott, Senior Director of Child Care Health Policy and Mia Coward, Public Policy Associate, Child Care Aware® of America

Many parents use August to prepare for the school year and cross many tasks off their list—school supplies, nailing down schedules, new clothes, and converting the family mindset from summer vacation to the school routine. At Child Care Aware® of America, there is one more task. And you should add it to the top of your list, because it affects school readiness.

Health care for your children! We know that early childhood education and child care are vital for the success of our children. But we also know that having access to health coverage is how many children and families are able to live day-to-day without worry about getting sick and not being able to see a doctor. Parents may also find themselves juggling early child care for one or more of their younger children and school for others. Whether focusing on early child care, school, or both, the parent must protect health care access.

Read More

Parent and Provider Tips


Create enthusiasm by hinting at exciting new topics you plan to begin later in the week.


Engaging families in a variety of ways will encourage a smoother transition and school achievement.


You can’t perform well when you don’t feel good. Prepare healthy meals and snacks.

The transition can be hard, so show children it can be good and that effort really does matter.

Find a place to keep items needed for school each day to help your child stay organized.

Emphasize that practice and persistence will help you perform well in school

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Thanks for Sharing Your Back-to-School Photos With Us!

Other Resources:

Child Care Aware of America

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