It isn’t always easy for young children to transition to daycare, and it can be equally challenging for parents as well. Fortunately, there are things parents can do in the months leading up to the transition to make the process easier for everyone. Here are a few helpful tips:
Plan a Visit
Together with your child, visit the daycare program you have in mind and take a leisurely tour of the facility. By familiarizing your child ahead of time—without the anxiety of leaving them behind—you’ll introduce them to the new environment in a relaxed manner, which will help them grow comfortable in the new surroundings. If possible, visit the daycare center a few times before drop-off day, to help your child integrate seamlessly into the program.
Talk about it
Talk with your child about the new experiences they’ll have at daycare. Show them pictures of the activities they’ll get to explore, such as finger painting, story time, outdoor recreation and indoor learning centers. As you build excitement in a positive way, your child will hopefully look forward to the new things they’ll get to experience.
Consider having a simple goodbye routine that is familiar to your child and builds a sense of trust. A special handshake, a catchy rhyme, or other goodbye habit can be helpful in putting your child at ease and assuring them you’ll be back soon. Once your goodbye routine becomes a habit, the predictability of it will likely make the transition easier for both of you.
Prepare for Tears
No matter what you do to prepare your child for daycare, there might be tears during the transition. Understand this is a normal part of the process and prepare yourself for the emotions that follow.
Comfort your child with reassuring statements such as, “I will miss you, and can’t wait to hear about the fun things you do today.”
Most daycare teachers will be there to help engage your child in an opening activity that will help with the transition. But in any case, prepare for a few tears and be assured it’s perfectly normal for your child to act out until they are accustomed to their new surroundings.
While the transition to daycare isn’t always easy, it’s beneficial for your child’s growth, independence, and social skills. Children’s Discovery Center works with families to provide a positive, seamless experience. Feel free to contact us for more information about how to transition your little one into daycare, and let us help your family integrate into the best childcare program for your needs.