The first few years of your baby’s life are a special time for you both to bond and get to know each other. However, you may need to return to work or resume your regular activities, which may mean transitioning your little one to a childcare setting. While we want them to be happy and safe and to have all the opportunities available to them for their growth and development, the decision to leave them in a childcare setting isn’t as easy as it sounds. But the good news is there are some things you can do to help ease the transition for both of you.
Talk about it ahead of time
Being left in a new, unfamiliar environment can be daunting for your little one. Help your child get ready for the transition by talking about it ahead of time. Explain what will happen, who they will be with, and what they will be doing. Encourage them to ask questions, too. This will help them feel more comfortable and confident about the new situation. It will also help ease their anxiety and give them a better understanding of what to expect.
Schedule a visit
If possible, schedule a visit to the childcare facility a few weeks before sending your little one to a childcare center so your child can get familiar with the surroundings. This will help reduce any anxiety they may have about being in a new place.
Get to know the staff
It’s important that you feel comfortable and confident with the staff taking care of your child. If you can, get to know them ahead of time and learn about their qualifications and experience. Take time to ask more questions and learn more about their programs and activities. This will help you feel more comfortable leaving your child in their care. It will also help put your mind at ease knowing your child is in good hands.
Pack their favorite things
Pack your child’s favorite things, like a blanket or stuffed animal, to help them feel comfortable and secure in the new setting. These items will also give them a sense of familiarity and help ease any anxiety they may have about being in a new place.
Prepare for separation
When it’s time to say goodbye, do it with confidence and assurance. Let your child know that you will be back to pick them up soon and that they will be taken care of in the meantime. There’s no need to prolong your goodbye or make it overly emotional. Just a quick hug and kiss will do. This will help your child feel more confident and secure about being left in the childcare setting.
Be prepared to be flexible with your schedule, especially in the beginning. There may be days when your child will have difficulty adjusting to the new routine and needs some extra time to transition. If this happens, try not to get too frustrated or upset. Just be patient and understanding, and give them the time to adjust. Eventually, things will settle down, and they’ll be back to their usual self.
It’s important that you stay positive about the whole experience, both for your sake and your child’s. If you’re feeling anxious or stressed about the transition, your child will likely pick up and feel the same way. So try to stay calm and positive, and focus on the excitement of all the new things your child will experience in childcare.
Last but not least, stay involved in your child’s life even when you are not with them. Find out how the staff is doing and what they are doing each day. You will feel more connected to your child and their experiences in childcare. Additionally, it will show your child that you care about them and are interested in what they do even when you are not with them.
Entrusting your little one to a childcare facility can be tough for any parent. But with these tips, you’ll both be ready for this new adventure!
Young Scholars Academy daycare has a wide and wonderful variety of programs to help you with all of your childcare needs! We have childcare programs for children age 6 weeks to 14 years! Visit us to learn more!