Making Childcare Drop-Offs Easier
Starting day care is just like any other new experience for any child and it may take a little while for you both to adjust. Not only is your child adjusting to a new routine they are also adjusting to a new environment and lots of new people. Drop offs are made easier through a positive approach and opportunities for your child to feel familiar with the service.
Preparation for the first day at day care
Positive preparation for your first drop off day is very important and can be done in many ways depending on the age of your child. For all children a visit to the service and a tour is a great opportunity to have a look around the environment and meet the staff. If you live locally maybe take a walk past the service a few times and talk about day care in a positive way, perhaps pointing out fun things they will do in their play. Visual images of the service can also help some children, we have lots of images on our website. If your child is able to, invite them to help you pack their bag so they are part of the preparation.
Orientation at the childcare centre
Orientation is an important step in the process of settling in to day care providing you and your child an opportunity to practice drop off and settling in. You will be invited to have at least two orientations where your child is able to participate in play in the room and you can say good bye and stay on site. You are welcome to sit the staff room and enjoy a little bit of quiet time.
Your Child's First Day
You may find yourself feeling a little anxious on the first day of care when you know you are going to leave your child. This is perfectly normal and your child may sense your mood as well as be dealing with their own anxiety. It can be a good idea to talk about what you will be doing before and after daycare so that daycare doesn’t become the total focus of your conversations. This could be about what to have for breakfast to a play in the park after day care. Your child may ask if you are going to stay with them, be honest and say you will be going to work, shopping or whatever you feel appropriate but reassure your child you will be right back afterwards to pick them up.
Saying your goodbyes
Most children will get a little upset at the thought of you leaving, this is separation anxiety and again is perfectly normal. Try to remain calm and positive as you say your good byes, again reassure your child that you will be back to pick them up. It is really important to say goodbye even though it may be tempting to walk away if your child has become involved in play. Leaving without a clear goodbye can leave feeling unsure and perhaps even more anxious.
Every child is different and will settle in at their own pace. Lots of factors will influence how a child settles into day care and can include the child’s disposition, how positive and calm the start to day care is and of course practice. Starting day care requires new skills to develop and it takes practice from day one to when your child settles in without tears.
We are here to help
We have helped hundreds of families to settle their children into childcare and have lots of ideas and suggested strategies that may help. If you find you are struggling with daycare drop off we are here to help, please speak to our qualified team at any time and we will work with you to settle your child in for a smooth calm drop off.