Transitioning your child into childcare is a significant step for both parents and children. It’s a new chapter filled with growth opportunities, learning and developing essential life skills. However, it also comes with its fair share of challenges, such as adapting to new routines and overcoming separation anxiety. Here are some strategies and insights to help make this transition as smooth as possible for your family.
Easing into the routine: stay and play sessions
Taking some time to experience childcare with your child offers a softer start, and that’s why stay and play sessions are great.
No matter the age of your child, giving them the opportunity to explore and have fun while you’re still in close proximity provides them with a sense of safety in a new environment.
The other plus with stay and play’s is it give you an opportunity to bond with the teaching team, understand routines and rituals and develop an even greater understanding of what a day will look like for your child within their care. It also allows your child to see you building trust with the teaching team, which helps them build their trust too.
This shorter time frame allows your child to get familiar with their new environment without becoming too overwhelmed.
The first day: get organised
The first day at a new childcare centre is a big deal for both parents and children, but being organised for the first day will allow you to spend that extra bit of time together before drop off.
Some of the items you will need for your child’s bag include:
- Bottles and milk (breast milk, formula or cow’s milk)
- Spare clothes that are weather appropriate
- Nappy cream or any other creams or medications – these must include a chemist label with your child’s name and application details.
- A drink bottle for water.
Having all belongings appropriately labelled with your child’s name will also help not only the educators but yourself when identifying personal items in the centre.
Just remember, at our Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure centres, we provide your child with a hat, sunscreen and sheets – just some of the things you don’t need to worry about!
The emotional quotient: calming fears for both parent and child
Emotions run high when it comes to the well-being of our children, especially when we’re apart from them. Here are some common emotional concerns:
Child’s separation anxiety
We can work with you on drop offs and pick ups to support your child’s separation anxiety. Some of our strategies include waving to our parents at the waving window or gates, lots of cuddles and even engaging in some exciting play outside.
Fear of the unknown
Open communication between parents and educators can go a long way in calming fears. Make sure to spend some time getting to know the teaching team in your child’s studio.
Building resilience: preparing for emotional goodbyes
Saying goodbye, especially during the initial days, can be emotionally challenging for both you and your child. Here are some strategies to help you prepare for these moments and build resilience in the process:
A quick goodbye is less painful. Prolonged farewells can increase anxiety for both parent and child. Keeping it brief also sets a positive tone for the day ahead, making the separation easier to manage.
Use positive language to make the separation easier. Encouraging play with friends, exploration in the playground or a cuddle with an educator eases the moment of goodbye and helps your child associate childcare with happy experiences.
Take the next step in your child's learning adventure
At Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure, we understand the challenges and opportunities of transitioning your child into childcare. Our team is dedicated to making this journey as smooth as possible for your family. We offer a range of services tailored to meet the unique needs of each child and parent. If you’re looking for an early childcare centre that prioritises safety, emotional well-being and a fun learning environment, contact us today! We’re here to support you every step of the way.