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Preparing your child for a positive daycare experience

Sending your child to daycare for the first time can be quite an experience for both you and your child.  Making that transition from home to a more structured setting can sometimes seem quite traumatic for your child, even when the providers are the best and the environment is loving.  To ease this transition A Child’s Place Academy recommends a few steps to get your child’s daycare experience off to a great start!

  1. Set a positive tone
    1. Your excitement and positive energy about the new daycare will make your child excited about the new daycare.  Talking about the new daycare before your child starts is extremely important in preparing your child.  Taking your child with you to tour the new facility will also be very helpful.  Introducing him/her to their new teachers and new friends will make them even more excited come the first day.
  2. Don’t Linger
    1. This is the hardest part for most parents but also very important.  Lingering or standing around will make the transition harder.  It is normal for children to cry, and some even scream but lingering to try to calm the child only makes matters worse.  It is best to hug the child, give them a kiss and assure them that you will return to pick them up later.
  3. Leave a comfort item
    1. Leaving something that your child is familiar with is also a good tool in easing your child’s transition from home to daycare.  Sending the child with a blanket or a sleeping toy will help with easing transitions.  If your child’s school doesn’t allow items you can send CD’s with special songs that may calm the child.  I am sure that most daycares appreciate when parents assist with making a smooth transition for their kids.
  4. When they cry……
    1. Even though it is gut wrenching to hear, most children cry when parents drop them off at daycare for the first time.  This is normal for children to have separation anxiety.  One thing parents can do is speak with the teacher to find out how long their child cried after they left.  Most children cry for a couple of minutes then calm down once they start to play.  Just knowing that crying is a normal part of this whole process ease’s the parents.