Nearly one-quarter of children under the age of five are enrolled in some kind of organized child care arrangement. That means that, all across the nation, there are lots of parents looking for daycare centers to provide assistance for their family.
But once you’ve found a locally owned and operated professional childcare provider that’s a good fit for your child’s needs, you’ll need to focus on transitioning your child into their new routine.
Many parents worry about this phase, and it’s easy to understand why. But the tips below should help make this transitional period a bit easier for both you and your child.
Talk and read together
Your child may be young, but you can still help them to understand the ways in which their days will change once they start going to a top notch day care center in your area.
A few months before they begin going to your daycare center, you should talk with your child about where people go during the day — whether it’s to work, to school, or to daycare centers. You’ll want to explain what daycare is and all the fun things they’ll do there once they start going.
You may also want to consider reading stories together that address this issue. There are many children’s books available that broach the subject of daycares and playgroups, which can help make the concept more accessible and fun for children.
When the idea of day care for young children isn’t a totally foreign one, the transition will be a lot smoother.
Another way to make daycare a lot less scary is to arrange visits before your child ever begins their time there. Even if you feel the affordable day care facility you’ve chosen will be a great fit, it’s best to allow your child to become better acquainted with the layout and know a bit more about what to expect.
A familiar environment can make all the difference once it’s time to make daycare a part of their regular routine. It will also help your child see all of the fun they’ll have to look forward to and will make your eventual departure a lot less emotional.
Utilize transitional objects
This is a judgment call, but many parents find that a comforting object from home can help ease difficulties during the daycare transition. A stuffed animal, a photograph, a blanket, or another sentimental item can provide your child with a sense of security and reminder that they’re loved.
Explain to your child that when they feel upset or overwhelmed, they can hold onto this item to calm down. This can help children with separation anxiety or who are feeling homesick to remember that their parents will be back to get them at the end of the day.
Keep goodbyes short and sweet
As a parent, you may be tempted to leave when your child’s back is turned or to keep them company at their daycare center in case they get upset. It’s easy to understand why you might be inclined towards either end of the spectrum, but both of these approaches may result in a tougher transition for your child.
If you leave without saying goodbye, your child may feel betrayed and may become very upset once they realize you’re gone. That can make it tougher for your child to trust you and make it much more difficult for them to calm down afterwards.
However, staying longer than you should can backfire, too. It can make it much more emotional for both you and your child when you actually do leave.
Therefore, it’s best to split the difference. Keep your goodbye routine consistently short and sweet. Establish a warm and loving goodbye routine that doesn’t drag on. It’ll be hard at first, but it’s the best way for both of you to get used to this new schedule.
Before you can focus on your child’s transition to daycare, it’s important you choose a reputable facility that fits your family’s needs. For more information on our daycare programs, please contact us today.