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The 5 Ways to Help Children Start Daycare

Aug 17, 2007
It's a typical morning at daycares around the world; children are arriving while the provider greets each child with a smile and a cheerful a good morning.

But what if it's your child's first daycare at daycare?

Almost every parent is nervous at sending their child to daycare. They have so many questions,Is this the right place or will my child like it here? The list goes on and I'm sure many of you have been in the situation of wondering if you made the correct choice.

That first day of daycare is often stressful on parents, children, and the providers who care for them. Everyone is discovering new environments, rules, and behavior. But there are some things that you can keep in mind when helping your child adjust to a new daycare. Providers and parents need to work together to make any transition smooth and stress free. Below I have listed the 5 ways you can help a child adjust to daycare. This list I hope will guide parents as well as providers.

Every child acclimates to daycare differently. Most children need time to feel secure and comfortable in a new environment. Remember when you were a child, entering a new school and not knowing anyone. It can be quite frightening for the toddler who is feeling unsure.

Typically, it takes 1-2 weeks for a child to settle down and get into a routine. And this also applies for the provider. The provider will need to understand the child's rhythm and personality.

What makes them tired, mad, sad, happy, frustrated, what they like to do and the list goes on? So once the provider has gotten to know the child, the day has become much easier. Other children may be totally different, but this is rare. What I mean by this and I've seen this many times, some children enter a new child care center as though they've been there their whole life. No crying, or upset feelings, they basically say bye mom see you later. They've got toys to play with and friends to meet.

2.What are the expectations of the parent? One reason for conflict is the belief of parents vs. provider. A parent must feel comfortable and trust the provider that they are using. If the trust is not established, than the parent will feel very uncomfortable which will in turn be a reason to leave. In many situations it's not that the child is unhappy, it's because the parent feels that the child care center is the wrong environment for their child.

3.Easing the child into care. I often advocate parents to take time in choosing the correct daycare for their child. Visiting the provider on several occasions establishes a common surrounding for the child. Talking to the child telling them that we are going to come here everyday, or Miss. Barb is going to care for you is a great way of establishing a bonding relationship. A child needs time to develop trust for the provider. Also, when dropping off your child it's important to spend extra time making sure your child is relaxed and ready for you to leave.

4.Bringing security items from home. Children often feel more secure when the parent brings items from home. A favorite blanket with mom's smell on it, a stuffed animal, a picture of mom all ease the separation pain a child maybe experiencing.

5.Parents should be welcome to call the provider, especially on the first day. A simple call of asking how their child is doing reassures the parent that their child is doing well.

Using the 5 ways you can help your child adjust to daycare can certainly make the transition more comfortable when experiencing a new environment.
The 5 ways you can help your child adjust to daycare.

(c) CG Groth 2007
About the Author
The Daycare Diva, Christine G. Groth, is the creator of The Guide to Instant Daycare Profits. To learn more about this step-by-step program and to sign-up for her FREE Start a Daycare tips and articles, visit http://www.ExpertsAtDaycare.com
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