Preparing Your Child for Daycare

It is time to return to work and place your child in a quality daycare. Your little one may be feeling some trepidation about this step, especially if they have never been enrolled in a facility such as this. The following steps will ease the transition to either a regular childcare facility or a licensed home daycare, and prepare your child for a quality experience:

Discuss the Process with the Child
Even though your youngster may be very young, it is important to talk about this adjustment. Of course, this doesn’t apply to infants, but even if your little one is as young as two or three, he will have some understanding of what is going to happen when he arrives on the very first day. Keep your explanations simple and to the point. Reassure him that you will pick him up every day, and that it will be a fun experience with other children his own age.

Visit the Facility
Take your youngster with you to tour the child care facility. Place special emphasis on the toys and activities to gain his interest. Ask the staff to introduce him to some of the other children in his age range. Make him feel part of the process by asking him questions and addressing his fears and insecurities.

Arrange Short Visits
After the first exposure to the new site, arrange to have your child stay for short periods of time. This will get him used to his new surroundings and friends. The first long day will not be so traumatic if he has some exposure to the routines, other children, and the staff.

Read About It
There are several excellent story and picture books about going to a child care centre. Read them to your child for the entire week before the first day. It will help him anticipate the activities, new friends, and teachers at the new school or licensed home daycare.

Make the First Day a Big Event
On the first day, you may want to make a special breakfast or got out for a morning meal first to celebrate this transition. It will help in making this a positive experience for both you and your child, as well as give you both time together before this separation. Get your child involved in the purchases of a new backpack, mat, clothing, shoes, and other supplies for the new facility.

As you can see, your child should be able to adjust to this new environment in a minimal amount of time if you utilize some or all of these suggestions. He will feel safer and happier if you take the time to assist him with this new and sometimes overwhelming adjustment and will also help get him ready for the future transition to regular school.