Settling your child into childcare is no mean feat but, rest assured, it gets easier. Here are some things you can do to make their transition that little bit smoother…
Are you looking down the barrel of starting your child in care in the New Year? Every parent has been there. You’ll be standing at the door of the childcare centre, already late for work or behind on the 101 other things you need to do that day, with a defiant child attached to your leg, begging you to stay. It can feel hopeless sometimes but don’t stress – it’s also really common.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to ease that transition from home to childcare. For one, make sure that your child has a comforting toy or object from home – this will give them something familiar to cuddle if they’re feeling upset, and make their new childcare room feel less foreign.
It also helps to prepare your child for the new experience that is childcare, and there are a couple of ways you can do this. Make sure you talk a lot about their new childcare, and tell them all of the amazing things they will do when they’re there. Be sure to keep it very, very positive. You can also try to connect with some of the other parents in your child’s class to arrange a summer holiday playdate – that way, your child will already have a familiar face or two before their first day.
Petit Early Learning Journey also offer ‘stay and play’ sessions for children who haven’t started childcare yet, but are about to. These half-hour sessions allow children and their parents to get familiar with their new childcare centre, playing with the toys and games in the rooms and meeting the friendly staff.
Once your child has started attending childcare, make sure you ask them a lot about their day when you pick them up. Identify any things they enjoyed at childcare (which songs or stories they liked, and which games they played) and make an effort to do those similar things with them outside of childcare hours. When your child returns to childcare, they will recognise the things they’ve done with you at home and be more excited to come back day after day.
If your child is still struggling with the childcare blues – and you are struggling as well – Petit Early Learning Journey centres encourage parents to phone as many times as necessary throughout the day, to hear how their child has settled in and to even let the child say ‘hello’.
Don’t forget that while the first few drop offs might be tricky, there’s nothing that beats the experiences your child will have at a centre like Petit Early Learning Journey. It’s the start of an exciting and amazing educational journey for your kids.