The first day at childcare is a huge day for both child and parent. Working to a pre-prepared plan will help to make the day less stressful for everyone involved and help your child to transition to a new phase in their life.
Starting childcare will affect each child differently, so predicting how they will react to their new circumstances is difficult. There are, however, a few steps that you can take to ease their anxiety and have them prepared for the big day.
Familiarising the child with the childcare centre is one of the best strategies to settle new arrivals in childcare. Begin by talking about spending time at the childcare centre, and describing the many positive experiences that will be available to the child. Emphasise fun, friends and new activities. Then do a drive-by to show the child where the centre is. The drive-by will have a greater positive impact if you can contrive to drive past when the centre is populated with children playing. It may be possible to pay a visit to the childcare centre with your child before the commencement date. All of this should help to ease any anxieties for the child while prepositioning them for their first day of daycare.
Giving the child as much ownership of the day as possible is going to make them feel special and childcare seem exciting. One way to create that ownership is to buy items that the child needs and to involve them with labelling them with their name. It may seem a small thing, but it builds the feeling of being cared for and that childcare is an event to look forward to.
If possible arrange to bring your child to the childcare centre several times before they will be starting childcare. These short periods will help with familiarisation and make the first day of childcare that little bit easier.
The night before will be a night filled with excitement and some anxiety. It may help to involve the child in packing their items before daycare.
Some items that may be required are -;
Settling children into childcare for the first time can be a challenge. Here are some handy rules to follow on that first day.
The first day at childcare is a memorable one. By following the guidelines above, you will minimise the anxiety and stress that can be felt by both parent and child.