Preparing your child for daycare can seem puzzling for both parents and child. Your toddler has grown so used to spending ample time with you at home. So, going to the daycare and spending several hours away from mum and dad can be a challenging transition for your child, hence, parents need to adequately prepare and give their children the assurance of comfort at the childcare.
Daycare is so pertinent as it offers your child vista of opportunities to explore, socialize with other kids their age, learn teamwork, share, play and learn together, build confidence, develop better behaviour, and learn how to effectively communicate.
It’s crucial not to over-prepare as a parent for your child going to daycare, in fact, there are simple tips for preparing your child for daycare. Check out these tips I’ve outlined for you in getting your toddler ready for daycare;
Meet, and Develop an Effective Relationship with the Daycare Teacher(s)
Before your child begins daycare, you should get to visit the preschool to meet the daycare teacher(s) and with time develop an effective relationship with them. This is so important because it allows for a good communication between you and the teacher(s) or caregiver(s), which is beneficial to your child. Communication is important when you are taking your child to daycare – communication between you and the teacher, between the teacher and your child, and between you and your child; and these should never be taken for granted.
Involve Your Child in the Preparation
Let your child be aware that they will be going to daycare. So, you should involve them in the preparation; also remind them about the upcoming event which is daycare. As you pack the needed things, let them also get involved and see what you are doing. That way, it will be registered in their minds that they are about to begin a new routine. In doing so, do not make them feel that you will be distanced from them, rather make them feel safe, knowing that you are a phone call or text away when they are at daycare.
Be Ready to Listen to Your Child’s Worries and Pacify Them
Give your child listening ears and be willing to assure them whenever they allay their fears to you. Yes, they will have fears and worries, which is so understandable, so be willing to hear all of these, and pacify them.
Set Routines and Prepare Your Child for Changes
You will need to set routines when your child is about beginning daycare. You should let them know the time for preschool so bedtime schedule may have to change to enable them get up in time to prepare the next morning. Also, let them know the time for breakfast and lunch which will also be determined by the preschool routine. Hence, you need to prepare your child for these changes, so your toddler doesn’t feel left out and low-spirited by these change in routine.
Help Your Child Develop Self-Help Skills and Independence
At pre-school, you will not be with your child for several hours in the day, so you should begin to teach your child to have independence and develop self-help skills. Give your child some alone time, that way, they begin to figure things out themselves. Allow them do simple tasks themselves like using the toilet and flushing after use, pulling their shoes and socks, and washing their hands.
Give Them a Comfort Item
Let your child have an item from the home that makes him/her feel comfortable, as the child goes to daycare. It could be their favourite toy, a blanket, teddy bear, as a way of relieving their worries and anxiety. However, this should firstly be discussed with the preschool teachers.
Listen to Their Experience on the First Day, and Always
Always listen to your child. On the first day, get to know what happened at pre-school. If your child does not willingly disclose his/her experience to you on the first day at daycare, you should inquire. Get to know how they genuinely feel about daycare, meeting new people and making new friends.
Try Not to Get Too Emotional
I know it can be tough for you as a parent sending your child to preschool, to be in the care of other people. However, it is important not to get too emotional, particularly in the presence of your child as that could communicate certain level of fear and anxiety to them, and you don’t want that.
Preparing your child for daycare can be fun too. Get in the moment, relive every experience and let your child feel comfortable about going to preschool.