The first day of home daycare marks a significant transition for both parents and children. If you are searching for parenting tips on how to transition your baby to daycare, you’ve stumbled upon the right place. We have listed the best tips and tricks from childcare providers.
First Day Tips
Set up a Meet and Greet
Visit the home daycare with your child at least once before the first day. Schedule a meet and greet with the provider at a time when your baby or child is not sleepy or hungry. This will give you the best idea of how the daycare transition will go. Get the provider to describe the daily schedule and space to you and your child. This will help them warm up to the new environment and know what is expected of them. Let them play with some of the toys and, if possible, interact with some of the children. Encourage them to explore the place on their own.
Tip: If allowed, take a few photos of the space to show your child at home. Or if your daycare care has a website or Facebook page with photos, show them that.
Chat with the Provider
Chat freely with the provider when you visit. Feel free to share your anxieties about getting your baby ready for daycare. Discuss your child’s temperament with the provider. And ask questions on how to prepare for daycare and how to make the daycare transition easier.
Make sure to go over the schedule the night before the first day with your child. Be as detailed as possible.
Explain the morning routine for the next day: “We’ll wake up, get ready, have breakfast, and then drive to your daycare. I’ll take you inside the house, give you a big kiss, and go to work. I’ll return in the evening, and we’ll come home together!”
If you can, show the photos of the daycare and describe them with your child.
Pay attention to how your child is feeling about his first day at daycare. Ask him about his concerns and worries. Assure him that daycare is fun and exciting.
Keep in mind that your emotions will hugely impact your child’s confidence.
If you are anxious about your child’s first day at preschool, he’ll feel the same. On the other hand, if your child knows you are happy and confident, he’ll feel excited and less stressed about the big day.
Trust the home daycare provider to take good care of your child. Remind yourself you have done your due diligence. You have asked for references and verified them. Their first aid and criminal record paperwork have been checked. You have visited the daycare and got a feel of the environment.
Letting your child participate in packing is an excellent way to mentally prepare them for the next day. Get them excited by telling them how fun their first day at daycare is going to be.
Keep everything ready the night before the first day. Label everything to avoid mix-ups at the daycare.
Be sure you ask the home daycare what supplies are required and what items are not allowed. Ask if you could send a photo of your family or a comfort item to help the transition.
Create a goodbye routine.
When it is time for you to leave, give your little one a big hug and tell him you are leaving. Assure him you will return at the end of the day to take him home. And then leave, even if your child is crying.
Parents often think of leaving the daycare without telling their children to avoid all the crying and fussing. But this will cause your child to have a hard time trusting you. So always tell your child you are leaving.
Also, staying to soothe your child if they are fussing with makes the transition even harder. So say your goodbyes and leave. Trust that your home daycare provider can help comfort your child.
If you are feeling anxious after leaving your child at daycare, ask if the childcare provider would be willing to text you updates.
The transition period might take a week or two to get better. Some kids might have more separation anxiety than others and that is ok. The first time you drop off your kids is the hardest. Try starting out with ½ days or a couple of hours, then transition your child to full days. This may ease the separation anxiety for both you and your child.