Preparing your child for Stewart House

The following information will assist in preparing your child for their stay at Stewart House

What do I need to pack for the 12-day stay?
  • Three changes of clothing, including underwear, pyjamas, swimming costume; comfortable shoes (no thongs), some warm clothes and a hat.
  • Toiletries including toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Large bag to take extra gifts home
  • Required medications in their original packaging that must be handed to adults on the first day for safekeeping

Laundry is done on a daily basis – Please mark your child’s name on all clothing.

What do I avoid packing?
  • Bed linen and towels. These are provided.
  • Rash/ Swimming vests. Special Stewart House rash vests are supplied and the children must wear them when swimming in any pool.
  • Any money at all. All activities are provided free of charge.
What items are not permitted at Stewart House?
  • Midriff or singlet tops (due to the risk of sunburn)
  • Personal food items
  • Hairdryers and hair straighteners (due to the risk of electrical fire)
  • Tobacco and alcohol
What happens to personal items that my child may want or use on the journey to and from Stewart House?

The following items must be handed in for safekeeping on arrival at Stewart House:

  • Mobile/smartphones, iPods, iPads, MP3 players, digital cameras (it is not appropriate for students to carry or use mobile phones at any time within the 12-day program)
  • All medications
What happens if my child gets homesick?

For most children attending Stewart House, 12 days is the longest time they will have been away from home. We have experienced staff who will ensure your child has a safe and enjoyable stay.  It is normal for children to experience a mix of feelings about coming to Stewart House – excitement, nervousness, curiosity – as well as having feelings of homesickness. Some children will experience stronger feelings and require more support during their stay.

Below are some tips for preparing children for their temporary separation from home:

  • Talk about Stewart House well in advance of the child’s stay. Include children in the decision to come to Stewart House and answer any questions they may have in a calm and matter of fact way.
  • Normalise any concerns they have about feeling homesick/ nervous/ worried etc. If you don’t know the answer to any of their questions – just ask!  Visit our videos, the 360-degree virtual tour and visit the information pages. If you still can’t find the answer, send us an email or call us.
  • Reassure children of their ability to overcome homesickness and encourage them to make friends and seek out trusted adults to connect with during their stay. Send your children away expecting them to have fun! Be contagious in your confidence and enthusiasm.
  • We do not recommend making deals for an early departure/pick-up prior to arriving. Rest assured, the staff at Stewart House will contact you to discuss a support plan including telephone contact if your child does not settle.
  • Pack a little piece of home – perhaps a photo, a small toy or symbol to support a positive memory of what will be waiting for your child when he/she returns from Stewart House.

Separation from family can be a great life training experience for a child. By supporting children through an extended stay away from home, we are providing them with a valuable opportunity to develop independence, self-reliance, confidence and social skills. Your input at home will help to achieve these outcomes and contribute to a positive stay at Stewart House.