It’s the day parents look forward to and dread at the same time, their child’s first day of daycare. You are excited because your child is growing into a little human but you are also nervous in leaving them with another human. Getting ready for the first day can be stressful on parents and kids alike, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are 15 tips to prepare for the first day of daycare.
Tips To Prepare For The First Day Of Daycare.
Tip #1:Explain the schedule-When children know what’s going to happen, it makes them feel better. As a former day care teacher, if a new child was upset I would respond like this. “I know you’re upset Sadie and miss your Mommy but it’s okay. We are going to have a great time today. We will continue to play for awhile, then we’ll have breakfast, after that we will have circle time and play some more. Next we’ll eat lunch and then take a nap. After nap we will get up and go potty and then have snack. Once snack is over we will go outside and then your Mommy will be here.”
Tip #2: Start adjusting to the new routine-Start getting your child used to an earlier bedtime and wake up time.
Tip #3: Visit the center-Take your child to the center so they can look around and meet their teacher and classmates.
Tip #4: Make sure you are both comfortable with the teachers- Ask your teachers lots of questions and pay attention to how your child reacts to their teacher. It is normal for them to be shy or quiet at first, but pay attention over the coming weeks to their interaction.
Tip #5: Purchase something special for your child-Starting a new chapter can be both scary and exciting for children so buy them something special to mark the occasion. Boys can get a new backpack or character shirt while girls can get a new outfit or cute pair of shoes.
Photo courtesy of Markus Spiske via Unsplash
The Day Of.
Tip #6: Take plenty of time- Wake up early and allow you and your child plenty of time to get ready. Compliment them on how they look, take time to eat breakfast with them and address any last concerns about their day.
Tip #7: Add a memento of home-Add a family photo or a favorite stuffed animal to their backpack or cubby so they can look at it if they become upset.
Tip #8: Arrive early-Kids like to spend a little time with their parents in the morning so make sure you arrive early. Let your child talk to you about what they see in their classroom or even show you around.
Tip#9: Come up with a goodbye routine-Since children thrive on routine, come up with a goodbye routine for each morning. I have seen parents use a sequence of hugs n kisses, a positive affirmation (I was never in day care but my Mom always used to tell me “You’re beautiful, you’re smart, and I love you.” everyday before I got on the bus.) or a combo of high fives and fist bumps.
Tip #10: Treat yourself-This can be a stressful day for everyone so treat yourself on the way to work. Stop by your local coffee house and order that grande iced peppermint patty coffee with whole milk and whipped cream or two of those super indulgent donuts that you love. 🙂
End Of Day.
Tip#11: Establish a going home routine-Sometimes your little one can be wound up at the end of the day after playing with his or her friends so establishing a going home routine is important. This can be as simple as greeting your child with a hug, grabbing their stuff out of their cubby, having a brief conversation with their teacher and then leaving.
Tip#12: Arrive On Time-This is crucial for at least the first two weeks of daycare. It is important that your pick up time stays consistent. Children get very anxious when they are waiting on their parents past normal pickup time.
Tip#13: Plan something special at home-In honor of the first day at daycare, serve your child’s favorite meal, watch a favorite movie, or go out for ice cream.
Tip#14: Extra bonding time-Spend some extra time with your child in the evening. Play a favorite game together or read an extra story.
Tip#15: Ask your child about their first day-Make sure you ask your child about their first day and really listen to what they tell you. If there is anything you need to talk to his or her teacher about, make a mental note.
As a former day care teacher, I hope these tips are helpful to you. The less stressed you and your child are, the better. Use all 15 tips to prepare for the first day of day care or just the ones that resonate with you and your family. Using these tips to prepare for the first day of day care will help establish a great first day for you and your child.