When you have a child that is a toddler or older and have only been taken care of by you in your home their whole life, the idea of finally sending them to daycare can be equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking. After all, you are likely excited to get back to work or to get stuff done on your own, but you worry about how your child will react to going to daycare and getting childcare from someone other than you. There are some steps you can take to prepare your child for daycare. Get to know a few tips to help you out with the process. Then, you can be sure you are doing everything you can to make this as smooth a transition as possible.
Schedule a Visit to the Daycare with Your Child
One of the best ways to prepare your child for daycare is to schedule a visit to the daycare center that you are going to be sending your child to. Your child will get to tour the facility, meet teachers, and get a feel for the place without any pressure on them. They may even get to play with the other children that will be in their class with them. You will be there the whole time with your child so they will not have to feel anxious or abandoned. They will just get to explore and see what the daycare center has to offer.
Talk to Your Child About the Transition
Well before the big day of starting daycare arrives, have conversations with your child about daycare. After they have visited the center, this may be easier as they will know where they are going and who they will be with. Tell them that they will be spending time there without you. Tell them that they will get to play and have fun with the other children. Give them an idea of what the situation will be like and what they will get out of it. This can be hard with a toddler, but do the best you can to explain things to them on their level. If your child is closer to school age, this discussion process will be a bit easier.
Do Not Show Stress or Negative Emotions About It
Your child picks up on your stress and emotions better than you can even imagine. So, be sure that you are not acting stressed or anxious or upset about your child going to daycare for the first time. It is completely understandable that you feel all of these things. After all, it is a big change. But you cannot let your child know that you are feeling this way. They will in turn get upset and stressed as well which will make the first day drop-off especially hard.
Knowing these ways to prepare your child for daycare, you can be sure you are doing what you can to make the transition to daycare as smooth as possible.