Any day now parents around the country will be sniffling at the school gates, as they wave off their babies starting their first day at school.

While some worry about separation anxiety and others how they will juggle the new work-life balance and early pick-up’s, a far more worrying prospect is at hand….

The latest findings from Ofsted’s chief inspector Amanda Spielman has highlighted the concerning rising number of children starting school who lack basic hygiene and communications skills.

Getting Kids Ready

As a result, these children are starting school on the back foot, at a vital time in their education. Furthermore, the findings reveal that it may waste more than a million hours per year in teaching time, as teaching staff have to make up time helping to assist and clean the children, notably following visits to the bathroom.

Now, the woman who calls herself ‘Supernanny’ has waded in to the debate, declaring on her twitter page that parents have become “lazy” and “enabling” by not teaching children the life skills they need. Her full tweet reads:

” [Excluding medical conditions] Toddlers still on pacifiers Teachers potty training 5YO 6YO still in pushchairs Bottoms still being wiped at 7YO Have parents become lazy, enabling, Too helpful to Please? What is your take on this all, would love to hear your thoughts please.”

Yep, never was a fan of her work!

So, what can parents’ to do help?

  1. Read More

Let’s start with speech. It has long been advocated that reading to your child can help improve their vocabulary and speech. The NHS also suggests that you can support your child by helping them build sentences. If they just say one or two words, then help them form a sentence by repeating the correct phrase back to them.

  1. Encourage independence

Although it’s not always easy to relinquish control to your child, encouraging them to dress themselves, tie their shoe laces, or pack their own bag is a step in the right direction. By encouraging them to take control, you’re fostering independence and teaching them to learn for themselves.

3.Prepare their own lunchbox

Children’s mealtimes can often be fraught, but getting kids to make their own sandwiches (with your help) and packing their own lunchbox helps prepare them for ‘big school’. Knowing they achieved it all by themselves can be motivating too.

  1. Clean Up

Preschool children should be encouraged to clear up after themselves and put their clothes away. This fosters the right kind of behaviour which can benefit them in a class environment.

  1. Bathroom ready

Children should be out of nappies before they start school, yet the alarming truthis that as many as one in six kids are still not toilet trained by time they start education. Parents should be mindful of how this could set their child back, and aim to have them potty trained in good time for school, to overcome avoidable mishaps.

This was an original post by Milk Drunk Diary which first featured in the Huffington Post.