Starting at a new daycare can be a tough transition for kids, especially if it’s their first time. There are things that you can do to make your family’s daycare transition easier in the long run, though. Below are four of our recommendations to help your child adjust to their new daycare routine more smoothly.
Transitioning Your Child Into a New Daycare Center
1. Take a Daycare Tour with Your Child
You may have already taken an initial tour of the daycare center you have chosen and loved it. But it is also important for your child to get a chance to tour the daycare center as well.
This gives your child a chance to become familiar with a new place with the safety of a parent nearby. This will give them the opportunity to feel comfortable and safe in their new environment when they start going.
2. Establish Your New Home Routine a Week or Two Before Their Daycare Start Day
If you have advance notice before starting a new daycare, make sure to establish a new home routine that will complement the daycare routine a week or two before your child is going to start at their new daycare center.
This could include a new wake-up time, a new breakfast routine, or storytime before going to daycare/school. Include whatever is important to your family in your morning routine. Springing a new routine on your kids right when they are supposed to start going to daycare can cause the transition to be even harder. Introducing the new morning routine a week or two ahead of time can help your child have an easier transition going to daycare as well as give them less to adjust to at once.
3. Hype Up Daycare!
Kids get excited about things that their siblings and parents show excitement about, so make sure to talk about their new daycare and start hyping up the experience.
Talk to them about the fun they will have, the toys they will play with, and the friends they will make. Talk about fun activities like crafts and playing outside, and assure them that they will have a good time and be safe.
4. Be Quick About Dropoff
Dropoff can be tough for kids and parents. There are usually a lot of tears when it is the first time being dropped off, and the best bit of advice we can give about this is to give your child a quick hug and then just leave.
This can be really hard to do and feel wrong when your child is crying, but daycare staff is trained in comforting and calming children down and helping them feel safe and at home.
The longer you stay after that last hug, the longer your child will cry. So give them a loving hug and head out. Most kids cry for just a few minutes after their parents leave, but after that, they will calm down and settle into an activity.
These four things can help your child transition into a new daycare more smoothly. Your love, patience, and intentionality will make the transition easier for both of you!