Tips to Help You and Your Child Settle Into Childcare Services
If your child is starting childcare soon, they might be feeling anxious and unsure about the upcoming experience, and, let’s be honest, you might be feeling a little uneasy about it too. To help you prepare for this new phase in their lives and to help you settle your child into child care, we’ve put together some tried and tested tips that we often give new parents here at The Brook.
To ease your child’s feelings, manage their expectations, and ensure they have some understanding of what will happen while your child/ren are at their childcare centre, it is important you talk to them about it. Read your child books about child care, and explain what will happen while they are there.
Talk about the activities they will likely participate in, and try to anticipate what your child might feel. Talk about excitement, happiness, friendship, but also talk to them about how they might feel sad, anxious, and frustrated during their time at the centre.
A few weeks in advance, try to find what the usual schedule at the centre is, and mimic these activities at home. By having your child somewhat used to the centre’s routine will make it easier for them to settle into the childcare setting.
We encourage new parents to bring their children to visit the centre a couple of times before their child actually starts at the centre. This gives children an opportunity to get used to the smells, sounds, and people at the centre, and allows them to have fun with their parents in the centre environment and creating a positive feeling towards the childcare setting.
Get a photo of your child’s Educator and talk to your child about them. During your visits to the centre, try and have a chat with your child’s main educator, and maintain a friendly relationship with them. Your child trusts who you trust, so seeing a familiar face when they start attending the centre will help them settle in.
On your child’s first day, make sure they have a comforting toy, photo, or item with them, so they can be soothed and reassured should they miss you and feel uneasy.
When you drop them off, make sure you tell them where you are going and when you will be back. Give them a hug and a kiss, and make sure you say goodbye to their educators, as this reinforces your trust in their educators. Then turn around and walk away. We know it is hard, but believe us, it’s easier on you and on your child if you make the goodbye just simply a ‘goodbye’, and don’t drag it on.