Child care is a new step for your child and they have to get adjusted to that environment which can be difficult. Their routines will change, they have to meet new people, and spend time away from their parents – this is a lot to take for a child so taking it slow is key to a successful transition.
As parents, it is important that you make the experience positive and rewarding. On the first day, your job is to stay calm when you drop them off and ensure not to cry as this will only upset your child more. With a little pre-planning, you can make this easy on both yourself and the child.
Top 5 tips to support your child
1. Start preparing early
Packing and taking care of the necessities the night before will ease the stress of the next morning. This will allow you to focus and give you enough time to ensure that your child is handling the new transition well.
2. Allow your child to rest more often
Since child care is a new environment, it will be a lot to take in and they will be more tired than usual due to the day’s activities. For the first month, allow them to recover by having an earlier bedtime. They will find the next morning easier to handle when they feel fresh.
3. A phased transition might be the best approach
This will depend on the child care facility, but a gradual approach to your child spending more time at the child care can help them ease into the new environment. This means that your child will spend less time at the beginning of the first week at the child care, but will increase in hours as the days progress. For example:
- Day 1 – Parent stays with the child for two hours and then both leave
- Day 2 – Parent leaves the child at the centre for two hours alone
- Day 3 – Parent leaves the child at the centre for five hours alone
- Day 4 – Parent leaves the child and picks them up at the end of the day
4. Create a routine
One thing about children is that they require routines. Feeling out of control and not knowing what to expect is only going to make them anxious every day. When they feel they have some control over what happens during the day, they are more likely to enjoy it. Create a workable routine during the first week and try to stick to it for a few months.
5. Build a good relationship with their educators
Your child will pick up on the energy between yourself and the people around you and react accordingly. For example, if you’re hostile towards somebody, they may become afraid of them and want to stay away. As such, you should make your child feel secure and happy around their new educators. You can do this by visiting them early and striking up long conversations with them every week. When your child sees that you trust these educators, they are more likely to trust them as well.
Finding a good child care centre, like those in Mernda VIC, is as important as finding the best school so choose carefully. Remember, it is their first learning environment, so you want one that emphasises learning and creativity.