Transitioning to Childcare Tips
Make choosing a childcare provider a priority
Choosing a childcare provider is not as simple as it seems. Every centre is different and it’s about finding a childcare provider that works with you and your child and can meet your every need. Many childcare centres have waitlists and will only accept enrolments at certain times. The earlier you start looking the more settled your child can be before you have to go back to work.
At Child’s Play ELC, we are a community-driven childcare centre that strives to provide every child with high-quality education that will help them become lifelong learners. We take enrolments all year round and we cater to children aged 6 weeks to 6 years. We love to get to our families and we have an extensive orientation program to help families settle into the Child’s Play community.
Below are some tips to help you with this transition!
1. Undertake as many orientations as you feel comfortable with
Childcare is a big step for all families, our orientation process allows you to take your time and decide if Child’s Play is the right fit. During orientation, our educators get to know you and the needs of your child while they become familiar with the environment. This program is tailored to your availability and your needs, we want to make sure you and your child have a positive experience at Child’s Play ELC.
2. Spend time settling them when you drop them off
Naturally, children will be anxious to start childcare. It is a big and new environment. One of the best ways to settle your child is to get there early and take time to:
- Introduce them to their educators
- Show them the room and where they can put their bag
- Sit down and play with some toys with them
- Introduce them to kids their age and encourage them to play.
- By doing some of these activities your child will be less anxious when it comes to saying goodbye and have a smoother transition into childcare.
3. Say Goodbye!
As a parent, sometimes when we see our child playing happily it feels very easy to not distress them by telling them you are leaving. However, this means that when your child does discover you have left them in an unfamiliar environment they could be very distressed.
The worst thing anyone can do is not say goodbye to their child as they leave. By not saying goodbye, your child will become stressed when they realise they have been left in an unfamiliar environment on their own.
4. Let your child know when you are going to pick them up
On their first day of childcare, it is imperative that you say goodbye to your child and let them know when you will be back, instead of sneaking out. By saying goodbye, your child will feel more comfortable and be able to relax in this new environment. We encourage you to tell them figuratively when you will come and pick them up to help them adjust to the time spent at Child’s Play.
5. Don’t be afraid to give us a call
It’s not just the child that will experience some sadness you may also be concerned during the transition and day one of childcare. At Child’s Play ELC, we encourage you to give us a call and check in on how their day is going. We will also provide you with regular updates through your preferred method of communication. We also encourage you to give us a call during your enrollment if you have any questions that need to be answered immediately we will be happy to assist you.
6. Separation anxiety is normal and it’s ok.
Separation anxiety is when children become very anxious being away from their parents. At Child’s Play, we see this a lot and we want to let you know that it is completely normal especially when your child is entering a new environment. As educators, we will be there to support your child through these tough times and your child may show signs of regression for a number of weeks but we can reassure you it will pass and eventually your child will be excited to come to childcare.
7. Encourage your child to help you pack their childcare bag
One of the ways you can help your child transition into childcare is by encouraging them to pack their own bag with you. With each item explain why it needs to go to childcare, “a change of clothes just in case you get dirty.” This will help settle them and feel prepared for entering this new environment.
8. Make the transition to childcare a positive experience
Your child might feel nervous or scared to be starting childcare. It is important that we don’t play into those emotions and instead promote some the positive things that your child can look forward to such as:
- Making friends
- Trying new things
- Getting to paint, play with toys, or take care of Diamond, our rabbit, all day.
- Going on excursions to the library and to wildlife centres.
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