Sending off your little one to a daycare or a preschool can be quite overwhelming and challenging for both you and your child. While this is a huge milestone, it can be difficult not to feel anxious as you get your child to adjust to a childcare setting. It can be tough to leave them in an unfamiliar environment but don’t worry. There are ways to make the transition as smooth as possible for you and your little one.
By preparing yourself and your child ahead of time, you’ll avoid any stressful surprises and establish a routine quickly. Here are ten tips and tricks to help you get started:
Talk to your child about childcare in a positive way before their first day
Your child can be just as anxious about being sent to a new childcare setting. One of the best ways to ease their anxiety is by talking about it beforehand. Explain to them what they can expect and answer any questions they might have positively. Talk more about the exciting things about daycare and highlight what they can look forward to.
For example, you can tell them about getting to play with many toys or getting to meet new friends.
Find a good fit
Not all childcare settings are created equal. When looking for one, be sure to find the best fit for your child’s personality and needs. If your child is more introverted, look for a smaller setting with fewer kids. If your child loves being active, pick a setting with plenty of space to move around. Finding the right fit can help ease your child’s transition into a new environment.
Get to know the staff
Another way to help your child feel comfortable is getting to know the staff ahead of time. If possible, schedule a meeting with the teachers or caretakers before your child’s first day. This will allow you to get to know them and their teaching style. It will also give your child a chance to meet the people taking care of them daily.
Set up a daily routine
One of the best ways to ease your child into a new setting is by establishing a daily routine. This will help them know what to expect each day and create a smoother transition. Try to stick to the same schedule as much as possible, including drop-off and pick-up times. If your child has a favorite toy or security blanket, pack it in their bag each day.
Bring along a familiar face
If your child is having difficulty adjusting, try bringing along a familiar face in their first few days. This could be a family member, friend, or even a stuffed animal. Having someone they know with them will help make the transition easier and comfort them during this challenging time.
Make drop-off and pick-up quick and easy
When dropping off and picking up your child from childcare, try to make the process as quick and easy as possible. This means avoiding long goodbyes or extensive conversations with the staff. If your child sees that you’re sad or anxious, it will only make them more upset. Instead, say a quick goodbye and assure them that you’ll be back soon.
It’s important to remain positive when dropping off and picking up your child from childcare. Even if you’re feeling sad or anxious about leaving them, be sure to smile. This will help your child feel more comfortable and ease their anxiety about being in a new place.
While it can be tempting to do everything for your child, it’s essential to encourage their independence while in a childcare setting. This means letting them try new things and explore their surroundings independently. Of course, the staff will help if they need it, but allowing them to take some risks will help them feel more confident and comfortable in their new environment.
Adjusting to a childcare setting can be challenging at first, but with these tips, time, and patience, you’ll find your little one happy and thriving.
At Akers Academy, the enrichment, safety, and love of your children are the primary motivations in everything we do! From the time they are babies, through their Pre K years, our proven, early learning curriculum helps build a strong foundation of self-confidence and academic excellence for your child’s future. Visit us to learn more!