Choosing to place your child in daycare can be a difficult choice. Once you have found the perfect child care center for your child you may begin worrying about transition. You may ask yourself how you can help your child transition into daycare.
This is a normal question and one that every parent faces. This is especially true if the child has never been in daycare before. There are a few things you can do to make this transition a little bit easier for you, and your child.
Find a time when you and your child can visit the center together. Try to do this about a week before you plan on leaving the child there for the first time. Plan on staying there for an hour or so. During this time talk to the child’s future teacher, fill out paperwork for enrollment, or just sit back and watch. The point of the visit is to let the child see what is going on in the classroom. They will have a better understanding of where they will be going, and will be able to get a feel of what is in store for them when they attend.
If possible, start out with short days. The easiest transition is a slow one. This is why you should start the transition process about a week before you actually need daycare. For the first couple days pick your child up before nap time. This allows the child to get accustomed to the center before having to sleep there.
Every child care provider will agree that parents should not sneak out the back door once there child is playing! This is one of the worst things you can do. It leaves the child wondering where you went, and the next time you drop them off they will be terrified you will sneak out again. The easiest transition is to hug them, tell them you are leaving, and THEN leave. The child may cry, and this is normal, but after a few days it will get better. Try telling the child when you will be back, saying something like “I have to go to work now, but I will be back after recess”, gives the child something to look forward to, and gives them the comfort that the need knowing that you will be back!
When you drop your child off don’t bribe them with candy, snacks or food! This is just not a good idea at all. You are going to make the provider upset, because you are giving them sugar at 6 am. You are going to make the other children upset, because THEY don’t have candy, and once you start the bribing it will NEVER stop. So, please don’t start it!
Let your child bring a comfort object for nap time. It could be a favorite doll, car, blanket, anything that they want. Having a comfort object helps them fall asleep and reminds them of home. It really is a huge help at nap time!
Transition to child care is a huge deal for both parents and children. We at Raising Arizona Preschool assure you that after a few weeks your child will be fine! In most cases once the parent is gone the child stops crying and has a blast! Your child will enjoy getting to play and make new friends. They will be learning something new every day! We hope these tips help ease the transition for you and your child!