The first five years of childhood are crucial for their development. During this time, they learn the basic skills for the rest of their lives.
Although most parents would like to stay home with their children during this time, it is only sometimes possible. For many families, both parents need to work to make ends meet. So children will need to go to daycare.
Transitioning from home to daycare can be difficult for the child and the parents. Read on for our five tips for transitioning from home to daycare.
Picking the right daycare
Once you have decided to move your child to daycare, the next step is to find a daycare that is right for your family. Consider these factors when searching for a daycare.
- Location-Choose a daycare close to where you work or somewhere close to home for convenience.
- Quality-Choose a daycare that is high quality. Visit the daycare and ask questions about how they operate.
- Credentials: Ensure the daycare is licensed and insured and the staff has child development training.
- Cost– Decide the price you can afford on daycare, and try to find a daycare that fits that budget.
Prepare your child
Preparing your child and yourself for the transition from home to daycare helps your child process what is happening. Here are some tips to help make this transition easy.
- Talk to your child about the daycare and explain what will happen during the day so they feel more comfortable.
- Make a few visits to the daycare before their first day. Your child will feel more comfortable with the new environment if you can show them around and introduce them to the staff.
- Have practice runs at home where you and the child role-play getting ready for daycare and saying goodbye. Reenactment prepares them for the real thing.
- Reading stories together about going to daycare helps ease the transition for your child and makes them feel more comfortable.
- Make sure you communicate with the staff openly at the daycare about any questions or concerns you may have.
Easing into daycare
Help them become familiar with their new environment. Here are some tips for getting them acquainted with their daycare:
- Visit before the start date. Schedule a visit to the daycare before the start date so your child can become familiar with their new school.
- Help your child meet the teachers and staff at the daycare so they get used to the faces.
- If your child has a favorite toy, book, or blanket, take it with you to the visit or on the first day. They will feel more secure in their new environment.
- Spend some time in the daycare with your child if the daycare permits it. Time makes them feel more secure and helps them to develop relationships with their caregivers.
A positive attitude goes a long way.
A positive attitude helps your child navigate the transition from home to daycare. These are the five ways for your child and you to make it through the change with a positive outlook:
- Stick to a Routine: Establishing a consistent routine will give your child structure and normalcy during an emotional time.
- Keep Your Anxiety in Check: Children often sense and pick up on their parent’s emotions. Make sure to be conscious of this and keep your anxiety in check.
- Talk Openly: Explain the details of their upcoming day at daycare with your child in a positive way.
- Have Fun: Turn the transition into a positive experience by engaging your child in fun conversation, playing games, and creating exciting stories.
- Praise Your Child: Tell your child that you know they will have a great time, and give them lots of praise and encouragement.
By maintaining a positive attitude and taking the time to talk to your child about the transition, you will set them up for success and make transitioning from home to daycare much easier.