Any child at any age can be ready for childcare. It depends on how we as adults approach the situation. If we are going to be anxious, nervous, upset and clingy with our child, then we need to expect our children to display these same behaviours.
Always make the transition to child care a positive experience in the way you talk about it to your child and others (in your child’s hearing range) before, during and after the event by
- If possible, try and have your child attend the centre for a minimum of 2 days per week. This allows them to become familiar quicker with the new environment (younger children can forget from one week to the next, so it is like they are starting all over again if they only attend 1 day a week).
- Get your child a ‘child care’ bag and hat, so they can get excited about it. It also provides them with a belonging they can have with them at the centre
- Be positive about the new venture with your child. If you are excited about it hopefully they will be as well
- Visit the centre prior to them officially starting so they know the environment and have meet their caregivers
- Have a routine from day 1 when dropping your child off at the centre, so they always know what to expect. This could include putting the bag away, reading a story together or doing a puzzle and then leaving.
- ALWAYS say good bye to your child even if they have a few tears. Let them be aware you are leaving otherwise they can feel forgotten. They need to know you are leaving and you will be back.
- Be open with the educators. Provide information about how your child’s morning has gone prior to arriving at the centre, and the educators will ensure they take this information into consideration in helping them settle.
Give your child a few weeks to adjust to the big changes in their lives and hopefully this will see you all sailing with your new child care adventure.