Dropping your child off for their first day of care can be overwhelming.
It’s the guilt we face as parents when we entrust someone else with our pride and joy.
By the time your first day arrives you and you child will have become familiar with the educators through an orientation process. This process is for you ask all of the questions on your mind, to ensure you know who will be looking after your child and to ensure your child is as comfortable as they can be before starting full days of childcare. The educators will also be spending this time getting to know your child’s routine and what their needs will be throughout the day.
Generally, when children first start, they may be a little unsettled, this is all new to them too. They’re no longer cosied up at home, but instead entrusted to educators in a new environment. These educators are trained to pick -up on children’s cues and will have even begun recognising your child’s personality, cues and needs from orientation.
It’s important to remember that routine is the key, whether your child comes in one day or all five. From their first day aim to set a pattern, drop them off around the time you will be dropping them off every morning. Depending on the age of the child you may need to chat to them first about what the might be doing. Explain to them that you need to go and you will be back at the end of the day (or you could give a routine such as afternoon tea, that way your child will know once they have had afternoon tea you will be picking them up after that).
It’s very important to remember why you are sending them to care. Is it because you need to go to work? Is it because they need to be around other children for socialisation? This reason is going to be what you remember on that very first day when you leave them.
They may cry and become very upset, this is a normal reaction. You may cry, this is also very normal. Children may also not eat, sleep or have any bottles or water throughout the day, they may refuse to go to the toilet. These are all completely normal behaviours when a child is getting used to being in a new place with new people.
It takes time for children to get used to their surroundings, their peers and their educators; this can take anywhere from roughly 2 weeks to 8 weeks with exceptions either way. It’s important to have open communication with your child’s educators, they have experience and have many strategies that can be tested to encourage positive transitions.
During the day, you may want to call and check on your child and how they are going, we encourage this. If you need to call 3 or 4 times this is perfectly normal and the service will call you throughout the day to let you know how your child has been going.
* The person writing this article is not a registered professional. But has over 10 years in Early Childhood settings and is writing on knowledge gained through first hand experience.
If you have any questions about starting childcare speak to one our team.