Children have fears just like adults, so if you’re thinking about sending your children to a daycare center, then know how to prepare your children for this new and potentially scary change in their lifestyle, this is especially true for children that have never been in a daycare situation before. By being prepared for their new adventure, you’ll get prepared for the change too. There are some very simple steps that you can make which will make their daycare experience a happy one.
Before you tell your children about going to daycare, look into the all of the available options that you have for care. More and more parents are choosing to send them to an in-home care situation at other people’s houses. Some are nearby relatives, or older adults that are retired to watch their children too. If you can afford it a nanny is another option, but be prepared to shell out some big bucks for this type of care.
Highly experienced and credentialed nannies will often make more than the average worked in the U.S. Shared care providers in neighborhoods are becoming popular too where care is provided on a rotating basis by either the family, or if they have employed a nanny they will look after other children in their home. Check out all of your options and see what works for your family.
If a daycare provider at a center is chosen there are ways to get your children ready to work with them. One of the best ways is to take them by, and let them spend a day with the kids in their group, and with the teacher(s) that will be looking after them. It might be necessary to stay with them at the center, even if it means that you’ll need to take a day off.
Make sure your child has the opportunity to see all the building that they’ll be in, and ask for a tour of the playground area too. You could just spend part of the day, and go back within a few days when the activities are different because it could be more beneficial to your children to feel not pressured. Encourage your child to speak with others about how they like the center, a good idea is to ask the daycare provider to introduce your child to other children that are happy but have just started going to the center.
A caring childcare provider will let you take home a list of activities and schedules that will pertain to your child’s age group. When you get home you can talk about what you did, and ask for your child’s input about their experience. Ask them how they felt about their care giver, and if possible let them go as many times as they feel they want too back to the daycare center. This might be necessary anyway because daycares will often have several different teachers for the shifts at a center. Letting your child talk openly and honestly about how they felt, and what they want in daycare is the best way to prepare them for a working relationship with their daycare provider.
If you have doubts about your child’s acceptance of the daycare you feel is best for them, talk with the administrator, and see if they can give you tips that will help your child feel more at ease about the situation. In the end you might have to search for another daycare if, after they have attended for a while, does not work. It will take some time for them to adjust, so make sure you and the center work with your child, and try different approaches to help them feel comfortable and accepted.
Finally, if all else fails look for other alternative childcare options. Some children need a more personalized setting to learn and grow in, like in-home care. Smaller groups and individualized lessons can be offered in that setting. Again, you might find it useful to let a nearby relative care for them until they are ready to enter the world of a daycare center. The choice is ultimately yours but always remember the child because they are the one in daycare.
Update: After seeing a comment from Vincent Teh and to help prevent any untoward child care incidents, we would like to highlight the article we posted a year ago: Letter from a grieving mother. We hope that this can raise safety awareness in parents with regards to selecting a child care provider.