As part of our transition to childcare at Child’s Play, we have every new child complete a series of orientation sessions. Orientation is a great way to introduce your child to a new environment without your toddler becoming frightened. It also provides them with the opportunity to socialise and familiarise themselves with our centre before starting.
One of the biggest things orientation helps with is separation anxiety and fear of strangers. Orientation introduces your child to the new environment and people alongside Mum or Dad, which gives the child a sense of reassurance. It’s also important to remember that while orientation assists in reducing separation anxiety and fear of strangers, it’s normal for children to cry when you leave. It’s also normal for them to be unphased by you saying goodbye and it’s normal for there to be a temporary regression in development.
It can be a big step for families to send their child to childcare and we want you to feel comfortable in sending your toddler to Child’s Play ELC.
Orientation for Toddlers
Orientation for toddlers is all about making sure the child and the parents feel safe and comfortable in our centres. These orientation sessions are more play-based and explorative to help the child become familiar with this new environment. At Child’s Play, we tailor orientation sessions for each family, but most often we suggest at least two one-hour-long sessions on days the family will be enrolled.
What to expect during Orientation
From a Child’s Perspective
During orientation, your child will be encouraged to explore and become familiar with the new environment. Our educators will encourage the child to join in on any activities currently set up in the room but also give the child some freedom to explore the space and see what interests them. Your child will have the opportunity to meet the other children in the room and see how relaxed and how much fun they are having. This socialisation will help them transition on the first day and recognising a few more familiar faces may even help calm those inevitable first-day nerves. We find that orientation sessions are great for toddlers with many children becoming quite comfortable quickly.
From a Parents Perspective
The orientation sessions are a good time to discuss your child’s interests and their routine with educators that will be spending time with your child. It’s equally important to the educators to get to know the family and understand the child’s normal routines to make the transition as easy as possible. You will have already noted any special requirements in your enrollment, but the educators will make sure to discuss these in detail with you to ensure the team is prepared. Educators will also discuss with you how to prepare for your child’s first day, what to expect at drop-off and what to pack for your child.
From Our Perspective
As educators, orientation sessions are a great way for us to get to know your family. In particular, it helps us put names to faces and children to parents. We want to know about your child and your family, and what your child likes to do or has interests in. It helps us plan our programs and daily activities and makes sure your child has fun while at childcare.
Orientation sessions are also a great time to assess the development of your toddler and determine what room they would best be suited for. Our rooms are divided into age groups but are determined by developmental milestones like being able to drink from a cup. In orientation, we can discuss which toddler room is best for them and what developmental milestones we will focus on developing with them when they enter our program.
Emotions to expect on Day 1
As a parent, it’s natural for you to be protective and choosy about childcare. It is why we offer tailored orientation sessions so you can feel comfortable sending your toddler to Child’s Play. It is not just the children that sometimes get a little upset being left at childcare, parents can also feel sad – after all, it’s a big adjustment for you too. One of the most common comments we hear parents say on Day 1 is “they’re so grown-up”, as often going to childcare is one of the first times we leave our toddlers in the care of someone else. But rest assured, it’s truly amazing how quickly children adjust to a new routine. But if you ever want to check up on your child to see how they are adjusting, don’t hesitate to call the centre or check our KindyHub app for the latest updates on what your child and their room are up to.
Child’s Play ELC
Child’s Play is a family run early learning childcare and we treat our families like they are our family. We value the community we have built and the community we are based in. Our orientation sessions are tailored for each toddler and their family to make sure they feel completely comfortable with our educators and with our centre. If you are considering childcare for your toddler, please get in touch with us or fill out this form.