That morning you send your child off to childcare for the first time, there are often tummies filled with butterflies, tears and anxious goodbyes – and that’s just the parents!
Sending your child to daycare can be an apprehensive time for everyone, but there are ways to help make familiarising child care a smooth process for the whole family.
Preparation is the key for a smooth start to formal care such as child care. Start talking to your child early on about where she is going, how fun it is and what she will do there. Enlighten what the child care routine will be and reassure her that you’ll be there to pick her up in the afternoons.
Before your child begins care, it’s an excellent idea to spend some time with her at the centre where she’ll be. It may just be an hour or two, but it will make her more familiar with the child care centre with the safety of you being with her. This will also give you a chance to talk to the educators about your child’s routine and things that may help settle her. Make sure you answer any questions your child may have about child care openly and honestly. If possible, try sending her for some shorter days – an hour, a half day – to help her settle into the idea of day care gradually.
Children and childcare: On the first day
If your exit from the child care centre is distressing, resist the temptation to go back and check on your child. Coming back in may be unsettling, you only risk upsetting her again. If you’re worried, give the educators a call to see how she is. Sometimes a child may have settled in fine and been happy all day, but will dissolve into tears when the parent comes to collect them.
Rest assure that our caring educators will only be too happy to give your angel reassuring cuddles and encouragement.