Preparing Your Child for Child Care
In order to best prepare your child for child care, you may want to do the following things.
- Before your child begins child care, visit the program together. This will give your child a chance to meet with the provider(s) and other children.
- Talk positively with your child about the program or provider. Even if you are nervous about leaving your child for the first time (This is completely normal), try to stay positive so your child doesn’t pick up on your fears.
- Talk to your child about what will happen during the day at child care. Let your child know that this is his/her special place to be when you cannot be with them.
- If possible, be prepared to stay briefly for the first few days during drop off and pick up so that your child becomes familiar with the setting. It also allows you to ask questions of the provider and get to know that person better.
- Bringing a favorite toy, doll, blanket or family picture will help your child feel more comfortable, especially when it is time to say goodbye.
- Children react to separation in many different ways. It can be normal for your child to cry during drop off. Having a consistent goodbye routine will help your child adjust. Offer your child a hug and kiss and tell him/her when you will be back. Ask your child care provider for suggestions if your child is having a difficult time adjusting.
- Never leave without saying “goodbye”.
- Try your best to have your child well rested and not rushed in the morning, it will be easier for him/her to start their day in child care.
- Before you know it, the daily separations and the joy of being together again will be part of your day to day life.