Transitioning to a daycare preschool program can be challenging for both the parent and child. This is especially true if the child has been home or with family for most of their life.
Your child may not understand why they are left with strangers, which can be intimidating or scary. This can trigger big emotions in your child, which can be very sobering for you as the parent and tug at your heartstrings.
Is there a way to make the transition to daycare easier for parents and children? Here are 5 tips to help your child adjust to daycare:
1. Visit Their Class Together
At Children’s Academy, you’re welcome to visit our daycare before your child’s first day. Let your child meet their teacher and interact with some of the children. Find a few toys they enjoy and show your child the artwork the children in their class have created.
2. Talk About Their New Daycare
After visiting their class, talk about their experience. Ask your child open-ended questions to draw out their feelings, such as:
- What was your favorite thing about class?
- What artwork was your favorite?
- What did your like about your teacher or classmates?
- Tell me how you feel about starting preschool?
Getting books from the library about starting a daycare or school program can also be helpful.
3. Say ‘Goodbye’ Compassionately
Your child may feel nervous on their first day. Talk through drop-off with your child so they know exactly what will happen. Bringing a comfort item, such as a toy, stuffed animal, or blanket, may help with drop-off anxiety. While you might be anxious, as well, it’s important to not let your child sense this. Instead, focus on building your child up to have a positive experience.
4. Gradually Lengthen Time At Daycare
Children newly enrolled in a daycare program do best when their first days are shorter than a full day. This helps them build their endurance slowly so they are ready and excited to embrace full days at their preschool program.
5. Ask About Their Day
Similar to tip #2, ask open-ended questions that encourage conversation with your child. This can help you affirm positive experiences during their day, as well as address any concerns directly with your child or with their teacher.
If you’re looking to give your child a head start in school, contact Children’s Academy Childcare and Preschool today!