The first day of daycare is a milestone for both parents and the child. As parents you feel a mixed set of emotions about sending your child to a place where they will be interacting with new adults and will be surrounded by other children. A bit of preparation for the first day at the daycare will help create a smooth transition for both you and your child.
1. Be confident about your childcare selection
Choosing the right childcare centre is the most important step. Find a centre where you can fully trust the educators to care for your child. If you have confidence in the child care centre and the educators, your child will also feel confident. If you are anxious, your child will sense that, and they will also be anxious and untrusting about the new environment.
Trust your judgment that you’ve selected the best daycare centre for your child. Have confidence that they will feel happy, secure and above all safe at the centre. This will help minimize any anxious feeling and help you and your child keep calm and embrace the new beginning.
2. Talk to your child about daycare
Sit down with your child and have a conversation with them about the childcare, what their day will look like and a general routine. Talk to them about drop off and pick up, and about all the new and exciting opportunities the will have to learn, play and make friends. This will prepare them for what’s to come.
3. Take your child shopping
As a parent you need to make sure that your child looks forward to the first day of daycare. One way to build your child’s excitement is to take them shopping for all the necessary supplies. Allowing your child to pick out their own back pack, water bottle, blanket, etc. will help them become eager to use their new stuff on their first day of daycare. Make sure to buy one new item for the first day. Whether it’s a new “big-boy” shirt or “big-girl” backpack, this item will make the first day even more special and your child will begin to associate the first day of daycare with a positive experience.
4. Visit the centre
Make sure to visit the centre with your child at least once ahead of time. Your presence, close to your child, during this experience will make your child feel more comfortable and have a sense of security while warming up to this new environment. Be visible to your child but make sure to also give some space to allow for independent exploration.
It’s true that the first day can be a bit intimidating for both parents and children. However, if you follow the tips we’ve shared with you above, we are sure you and your child will be excited to embrace this new and exciting experience.