Tips for Parents and Providers for a Smooth First Day in DayCare

by admin on May 22, 2009

It is always scary and challenging both for parents and providers to look at the first day in daycare. It is always a big day for everyone concerned – the mom, child and the care provider. First times and first days are always both exciting and terrifying experiences so it is always best to be prepared for the big day and make the transition a smooth one.

Moms should start preparing the child in advance that it’s going to be a great adventure in day care and that they will have lot of new friends and fun games. These should however be kept low key and not overdone as it could overwhelm the child.

Day care providers can, on the other hand, provide moms with a list of first names of the children in day care as well as the carers and suggest having role playing with dolls so that everything will be more familiar with the child on her first day.

Moms should also start fostering independence in the child weeks before by visiting friends, washing their own hands. At the same time, providers should encourage mom and her child to visit the center a few times before finally starting to allow the child to absorb the environment.

Snacks, change of clothes, comfort toys should be packed by moms for the day and make sure that everything is labelled. It is also advisable to have everything paid and for the forms to be completed before the big day so that these will no longer distract you. Moms should also have plenty of time to get ready in the morning of the first day and prepare a good breakfast with some chat about the great adventure ahead.

When a new child is starting at a center, provider should take on an extra hand to focus on distracting and comforting the new child. It is advisable to have the new child start when everyone else has settled into their morning activities as starting off first thing in the morning may upset the child.

Moms should also allow the child to help in packing his back and carrying it. Mom should walk into the center while holding the hand of the child – not carrying him. Providers should encourage this to avoid having the “peeling child off the parent” scene.

Daycares should also have a settling period where child can stay for gradually longer periods. Moms can stay around but involvement should be discouraged. Moms should take a backseat and just observe other than interact with the child activity. During the settling period, the child should have a one on one support. The child may just want to sit and observe a while before eventually joining group activities, he should be allowed to go at his own pace. When the mom leaves, providers should distract the child or usher him off to some exciting activity.

On the first day, the mom can settle in by staying in the room with the child and letting him do his own thing and simply remaining in sight. Test your child’s reactions by stepping out of the room for a while saying that you need to make a call or just in the hall. Let the staff distract your child for a while and watch his reaction from a distance. When you need to go to the car or get some coffee, give your child a quick kiss and say mommy will see you later. If the child cries out, don’t look back as your child will soon stop crying and will be distracted with play and activities.

See: How to start a daycare business

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Tom Shieh has written 323 post in this blog.

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