Transitioning from Home to Educational Daycare
Choosing an educational daycare for your child can seem to be an overwhelming task for most parents. After researching, touring and ensuring you’ve found the best facility that matches the unique needs of your child and family, The next step is to ease into the transition from home to daycare. It can be difficult to prepare your child for this big change and we are here to help you the best we can! Here is our list of some helpful tips that can make your childcare transition smooth and successful.
- Talk About Childcare With Your Child
You can find books, videos and pictures of daycare classrooms to educate and prepare your child for their new experience. You should always emphasize that going to daycare is a fun place for learning and meeting new friends! You can also go over a daily schedule with your child so they know what they will be doing each day.
- Visit Your New Daycare
Before your child starts at daycare it is a great idea to visit the facility to become comfortable with the environment. You can showcase areas such as their new classroom, playground, enrichment classes and gym. Many daycares offer a “discovery day” to help with the transition. Having the option to allow your child to visit their classroom for a few hours before they start daycare can be a great way to prepare and familiarize them with what to expect.
- Practice A Visit In An Unfamiliar Environment
Many children are comfortable with being cared for by other family members or babysitters inside their own home. Exposing your child to being cared for by grandparents or family friends outside of the home is a good way to build independence.
- Allow Extra Time For Drop Offs
Mornings can be a rushed time for many families. Be sure to give yourself an extra twenty to thirty minutes for the first few times you drop your child off at their new center. It can be challenging for both you and your child to separate in the transition process until it becomes a normal part of your day. Many childcare centers will send you pictures of your child after drop offs to assure you that they are okay and happily playing with other children. This is a great way to let you know how the transition is going after you leave. Always feel comfortable calling and checking in with your childcare center.
- Send Your Child With A Familiar Item
Children often have an attachment to a favorite toy, blanket or book. Sending your child with one of their favorite items to keep with them during their first few weeks can help them feel more at home. We also recommend bringing in a family photo for your child to add to their classroom environment such as a family tree.
- Celebrate Your Time Together
During the time you have with your child outside of child care hours, think of some exciting activities you can do as a family. This will be something your child can look forward to after the first week of daycare. You could take a trip to the zoo, visit a playground or even go to an aquarium. The one on one family time and experiences will give your child something to share when they return to their class. Giving your child an incentive to look forward to during the first few weeks of daycare can be very beneficial with the transition process.
- Be Kind To Yourself
Always remember that any type of transition and separating from your child isn’t easy. Luckily, you can rest assured knowing the staff at your center are highly educated, experienced and are there to help you through this transition. As you watch your child’s growth and development during their educational journey you will know you made the best decision for your child and your family.