Your Child’s First Day at Daycare
The first day at childcare is an exciting milestone in your baby or young child’s life. Your child is embarking on a journey that will lead them on many roads of discovery and learning. New situations and change can, at times, be exciting as well as unsettling for all of us. For many children this may be their first experience of separation from you. We have provided a few suggestions below for assisting your child during this time.
Convey a positive attitude. Young children are aware of your feelings. Your enthusiasm will assure your child that child care will be a fun and exciting place.
Establish a routine
Establish a routine involving both the night before their day as well as morning preparation. Rituals and routines will add predictability and are comforting in unfamiliar situations. Click here for our article on establishing drop off routines.
Bring something familiar
Bring something from home. This is acceptable and often reassuring in helping the child with the initial adjustment. This item may be a treasured blankie or even a photo from home.
Communicate with your child
Clearly state to your child where you will be and when you will return. It may also be helpful to discuss what will happen when you are reunited. (Try not to offer a reward but something you can enjoy together. For example, walking the dog, or reading a favourite book.)
Maintain a clear good-bye routine. This may include advising your child you are leaving in 3 minutes, a kiss and hug, or a wave from the window. Once you tell your child you are leaving, it is important to follow through. Extending the good-bye with, “Ok just one more kiss, and then I really have to go” tends to heighten anxiety rather than relieve it. Avoid sneaking out, as this seems to encourage children to become less trusting and makes the second day of child care harder.
The settling experts
Remember that the educators in your child’s room will be available to provide support and assistance, making your child’s first day a happy day. We are here to help make your child’s first day a smooth transition and we look forward to an exciting and fun filled year. Please contact your nearest Keiki Early Learning school if you have any further concerns, questions or would like to enrol your child.