Is your child returning to daycare after some time off or going to a new one? Going to new daycare means a new environment and faces to contend with, so some apprehension is normal and to be expected. Here’s how to make the transition to a new daycare smooth and stress-free for both the child and the parents.
Schedule some pop-in visits
Once you’ve chosen your daycare, and you’ve organised your child’s start date, have a chat with the childcare providers about coming in for some pop-in visits. This provides your child with a safe and secure introduction to the daycare. During these visits, you can stay for an hour or so and this gives your child the confidence to explore their new environment knowing that mum or dad is close by. It’s a good idea to do this a few times in the lead-up to your child starting.
Talk, talk and talk some more about starting daycare
Have regular conversations with your child about daycare and them attending. When you talk about daycare, you can discuss things like:
- Your child going there when you work
- How long they will go for
- Some fun things they’ll do
- Making friends and playing
- When they are going
The more you talk about daycare with your child, the less overwhelming it will seem. Ensure you talk about daycare in a positive light and this can make it less daunting.
Less is more
Rather than enrolling your child in for 5 full days a week, start off with one or two days a week and gradually work up to more days if you need to. This will give your child time to adjust to going to a new place, they will have time to familiarise themselves with the centre, their peers and their teacher. Going from being at home all the time to daycare full-time can be a huge transition. Additionally, if possible, begin with half days and slowly work your way up to a whole day. This can take out some of the scariness of being without mum or dad in a new place.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your Childcare Gold Coast providers, they do this daily and may be able to give you some helpful strategies or suggestions on how you can help your child to settle in. Be sure to have this conversation before your child starts daycare so that when they do start their first day, you have a plan in place. This makes it easier for you and your little one.
Get everything ready the night before
The morning panic, every parent has been there, when everything is rushed because you’ve got to get to work on time and you’ve got a million things to do before you can leave. Sometimes things don’t go to plan, this is life and unavoidable at times, but to make daycare mornings easier, and less stressful, try to get the bulk of your morning tasks done the night before. For example, have your child’s daycare bag packed and ready, make your lunch, lay out your clothes for the day etc. Knowing where everything is when you need it can make the mornings less flustered and rather than chasing down certain items, you can have a cruisy morning getting ready with your child while chatting about daycare and gaging their mood about going. At this point, you reassure them if they are feeling a bit anxious or worried about going.
Be sure to note your child’s preferences. Likes dislikes etc
Your child’s daycare will likely give you paperwork for you to fill out about your child’s preferences, nap times, dislikes etc. Be sure to fill this out to the best of your ability, the more that the carers know, the more they can tend to your child’s needs. This can provide a sense of comfort and make the daycare experience easier for both your child and their carers.
Speak to your child’s educators
Take the time to have a chat with your child’s educators when you drop your child off and when you pick them up. You can let the educator know of anything worth knowing that may affect their mood during the day, and they can let you know how they went during the day when you pick them up. By collaborating together, you can make the daycare experience better for your child.
Don’t just disappear at drop-off time
Rather than sneaking off when your child isn’t paying attention, take the time to say goodbye to them and let them know when you’ll be back to pick them up. Don’t prolong the goodbye, just say goodbye and head off. Dragging it out, especially when they are upset, can give them a false sense of security that you’ll take them with you. This is hard, and it pulls at the heartstrings, just know that almost all children settle down soon after their parents have left, and it does get easier.
Signs that your child is feeling safe and secure at their new daycare:
- They don’t get as upset when you leave
- They are not distressed when you pick them up
- They will happily share their day and the fun things they’ve done
- They get excited to go to daycare
Choose a childcare centre that you trust
Leaving your child with someone is a big deal for both your child and you so it’s important to choose a provider that you feel comfortable with. Actively communicating with your child’s educators will ensure that your child is receiving a personalised level of care that is catered to them and their specific needs. Many centres utilise an app which they can share stories and photos from the day and this is a great way to feel connected to your child and get an understanding of what they have got up to for the day.
Attending a new daycare doesn’t have to be a daunting experience, with the right daycare, your child will transition with ease and feel like a part of the family in no time.
At Little Saints, we centre our care around your child and their specific needs. Together we can create a nurturing and safe environment for your child to grow and flourish. Contact us today if you’d like more information on our centre.