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How Do I Prepare My Child For Daycare?

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    When you become a parent, you need to be ready for your chest to feel like it's going to explode with pride on a regular basis. However, you should also be prepared for your heart to break on a regular basis, and putting your child into daycare for the first time will most likely be an emotionally trying experience for both of you. It is not easy. Your baby will cry, and you will cry, and both of you will cry, and there will be tears everywhere. However, rest assured that this is completely normal, and that your baby will be fine despite all of this.

    Is this the first time that your child will participate in a daycare programme? Even if the childcare providers are of the highest calibre and the setting is filled with affection, it can be very challenging for a young child to make the adjustment from being at home with their family to being in a childcare centre. Getting ready for the first day of something new can be an exciting and terrifying experience all in one.

    How to Prepare Your Toddler for Their First Day at Daycare

    Talk About Daycare

    Your child's level of comfort with something is directly correlated to the amount of time you spend discussing it with them. Then, depending on the age of your child, you will be able to explain to them everything that is going to take place.

    It's all in how you communicate! Nobody enjoys being abandoned in a strange place without any prior warning or explanation of what's going on there.

    In addition to the educational advantages it offers, reading can also provide your child with a glimpse into what it will be like for them to attend daycare. For instance, a few months before they start going to daycare, introduce them to the book "My First Day at Daycare" or another book with a similar theme.

    You could also watch episodes of popular television shows that are centred on the first few days of daycare or preschool. Take, for instance, Daniel Tiger's experience on his first day of school. A book can't compare to a video when it comes to helping visual learners picture what it's like to work in a daycare.

    Your child will already be accustomed to the concept by the time he or she starts attending daycare. When dropping off the child, you could even make a reference to the book or video in order to remind them of how much fun the main character in the story had.

    Get Them Excited

    Involve your child's daycare experience in their make-believe play and demonstrate how much fun they will have there. Get them excited!

    Act out the scenario with them as if they were in daycare. Walk through lunchtime, playtime, naptime, and any other activities that they may be participating in while they are at daycare. Come see the learning, and feel the love, inside our Early Learning communities.Check us out!

    Make it as enjoyable as possible for them. You could also start calling daycare "school" if the term "daycare" doesn't seem to excite them as much as "school."

    Discuss their instructor, and make frequent reference to the instructor by name. This will not only assist them in remembering the teacher's name, but it will also pique their interest in seeing them again.

    Discuss the new friends they will make, the activities they will participate in, and the new toys they will have the opportunity to play with. Create the impression that the daycare is the most exciting place on the planet.

    Try Out the Library

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    Check to see if there is a story hour at your neighbourhood library. You should take your child there so that they can get practise listening to other people read and give directions. One of the most significant advantages of this is that you will remain present with your kid throughout the storytime.

    You should encourage your child to sit with other kids while you maintain your position at the table. There are some libraries that provide a designated space for children to play. When there is an opportunity for play, you should stand on the sidelines and watch your child interact with the other children.

    You could also check the schedule of the library for times when they hold arts and crafts sessions, as well as other activities that get them out of the house and allow them to listen to another adult give instructions.

    When your child is accustomed to spending time in the library, the transition to daycare will likely be less difficult for them because they will have gained the confidence to play with other children.

    Work on Independence

    Provide your toddler with additional time to complete household chores at home. The more options they have, the more independent they will become.

    Tell them that they are now an adult and that they are capable of doing some things on their own. Let them know that the work they did was excellent; even a small amount of praise can go a long way.

    If you want to give your child a choice, make sure the options are limited to two things that you won't object to. Take brushing your teeth as an illustration; which would you rather do first, that or brushing your hair? Or, what about some fruit for a snack? Would you rather have strawberries or oranges?

    This will make daycare easier, but encouraging independence will lead to increased creativity as well as improved cognitive function in the children. The more time a child spends in their toddler years trying to figure things out on their own, the more patience and ability to solve problems they will have in their adult years.

    It is essential that you work towards your toddler becoming self-sufficient when it comes to eating. In this way, you can rest assured that they are getting nutritious meals and snacks while they are at daycare. In addition to this, they should have full faith in their ability to consume food.

    Sleep Schedule Changes

    It is possible that you will find that you need to begin rousing your child earlier in order to get them ready for daycare. Allow your child at least a month's worth of lead time to adjust to the new sleep schedule before starting daycare. Then, wake them up at the time that they would typically wake up for daycare, and adjust their bedtime so that it corresponds to the new schedule.

    There are times during the day when naps at the daycare will be scheduled at specific times. It's possible that this will change when you go to bed as well as how your child sleeps. Ask the person who cares for your child at daycare if they have a nap schedule or if they take into account your child's normal sleeping pattern.

    You should make every effort to get your child used to the new routine as quickly as possible, preferably before they start attending daycare if at all possible. You are aware that maintaining a healthy sleep schedule is essential to keeping toddlers happy. Looking for an early learning centre in Sydney ? Then Little Angels early learning centre  is what you’re looking for. 

    Morning Routine

    Make sure that your child has a reliable and consistent morning routine that includes waking up, changing their diaper, getting dressed, brushing their teeth, eating breakfast, and then heading off to daycare. The mornings can be much more manageable for you and your child if you are aware of what is going to happen next.

    Give yourself enough time to complete all of your morning responsibilities in a leisurely manner, and if at all possible, avoid rushing through these tasks. Your child will become more anxious than they need to be if you are in a hurry.

    Toddlers thrive on routine and thrive on knowing what to expect. Your child will have a much easier time adjusting to the new routine if you take the time this morning to establish and maintain it.

    Practice Drop Offs

    You should get some practise dropping off your child, particularly if this will be the first time you'll be leaving them with a stranger in an unfamiliar location. Bring your child to the home of a friend who also has children, and leave them there while you run off to get some coffee at the nearby coffee shop.

    Make it a habit to leave them at least a few times in unfamiliar locations. Keep your goodbye routine the same no matter where you drop off your child: hug, kiss, I love you, I'll be back later, and bye!

    Because of this, they will have a better understanding of the routine and will be aware that their mother or father will be back to get them in a short while. The more frequently you do this, the more second nature it will become to you.

    Meet the Teacher

    Give us a call at any of our locations to find out if it is possible for you to meet the teacher and tour the daycare facility before your child begins attending daycare there. Your child will become acquainted with the instructor as well as the environment through this process. You can also take a look at the particular toys that your child enjoys playing with and uses to motivate them to come again.

    It is also a good idea to make sure that your child's teacher is aware of the cues that your child uses to communicate certain things, such as when they have a dirty diaper or how to respond when your child is upset. In most cases, daycare providers are very good at keeping track of these things; however, if your child is calmed down by a particular song or phrase, be sure to share that information with the teacher who cares for your child at daycare.

    Ways to help ease your child's transition to daycare

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    Visit together

    Ask the school if you and your family are able to come visit him at school and spend some time either in the classroom or on the playground. This is especially important to do if you have a younger child. As your child investigates his new surroundings for the first time, this will make you and your child feel more secure and at ease in those surroundings.

    If the school does not permit parents and children to visit together, you might take your child to the school on a Saturday and just walk around the grounds with them. This is especially helpful if the playground can be seen from the parking lot, as many children will be eager to take a look at the new equipment that will be available to them at the playground.

    Transition gradually

    If your child's school or daycare allows for a gradual transition, consider having your child stay a little bit longer each day as they adjust to the new schedule.

    Begin with your child being absent from you for just one hour if this is their very first experience being away from you. Determined by how she responds to the new setting, work with her teachers to devise a transition schedule that will gradually increase the challenges she faces on a daily basis in order to make her feel more at ease.

    Tell your child what to expect

    Exaggerating the level of excitement can backfire because children are able to see right through us. It is not helpful to reassure your child that school is exciting and that he will have the best day of his life while simultaneously harbouring concerns about how he will respond to the new environment.

    If you tell your child that he will love school and then he doesn't, then this approach can be problematic for you as well as for your child. It's possible that he doesn't understand what you're saying or that he doesn't believe what you say. Instead, you should try talking to him about the specifics of the day that he has been having. Give him the name of his instructor, as well as a few specifics about the daily routine that he will be following.

    As an illustration, you could try something like, "You will find Ms. Jones waiting for you in the classroom when you get there. The first hour will be spent playing inside, followed by an hour of play on the playground, and then lunch will be served. After that, I'll come pick you up and bring you home."

    It will be helpful for him to feel more at ease if he is aware of what will take place while he is at school or daycare. As the day goes on, he will observe that what you told him is, in fact, taking place, which will assist him in experiencing an increased sense of security.

    Adjust your schedule at home

    In the week leading up to your child's first day of group care, be sure to get a copy of his schedule and make an effort to stick to it as closely as you can at home. For instance, if your child's classroom has lunch at 11 a.m. and naps at 12 p.m., you should strive to alter your home schedule so that it is consistent with theirs.

    Being away from you in an unfamiliar setting already introduces a significant amount of adjustment. Your child will have an easier time adapting to the rhythms of the school day if you make the necessary adjustments to your routine well in advance.

    Clear your calendar

    When you pick up your child from school or on the weekends, it can be tempting to try to make up for lost time by doing "everything." However, this can be counterproductive.

    However, even if your child likes school or daycare right away, it is still a significant life adjustment that can be mentally taxing for them. Therefore, make an effort to keep things as straightforward as possible at home for the first few weeks of this adjustment. Your child will have the opportunity to decompress and process everything that is going on if you provide him or her with a sufficient amount of time at home for open-ended play.

    Say goodbye with confidence

    Saying a hasty and sure good-bye is the number one piece of advice that we provide to parents who are dropping off their child for the first time in our classroom. See our list of available early learning programs Sydney to help you make an informed decision for your child. 

    There are very few things in life that are more difficult than listening to your child wail and scream for you while you are away. The problem is that if you stay and try to console your child, she will become mired in her emotions and will be unable to go on until you leave. It is going to be very difficult for her to calm down as long as you are still there because a part of her wonders if she can persuade you to stay, and this is making it very difficult for her to calm down.

    The majority of children quickly regain their composure after their parents have left the room. However, if you are concerned about leaving your child sobbing at school, you should ask the school to contact you in thirty minutes if he is still sad. This will give you time to formulate a solution.

    Your child will see that she is secure when you are able to confidently say goodbye to her. It is possible that her fear will escalate because it will signal to her that it is not okay for her to be left there, especially if you appear concerned or disturbed about leaving her.

    Beginning to receive care in a group setting requires a significant adjustment on the part of both the parent and the child. No matter what you decide to do, the path ahead is sure to be rocky for at least a little while. However, if you spend some time getting your child ready for the upcoming shifts in routine and responsibilities, you and your child will be better prepared to adapt to the new circumstances.

    Tips for the Morning of the First Day of Child Care

    • Wake up early enough to get ready for school without rushing. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and remind your child about the plan for the day.
    • Allow ample time for the transition from home to child care. Upon arriving at the centre, spend a few minutes reintroducing your child to the teacher. Spend time with your baby and caregiver. Talk to the teacher about your baby's evening and morning, and then be sure to give all necessary instructions both verbally and in writing. Help your toddler or preschooler child find an activity he likes and join in for a few minutes before having to leave him.
    • When it's time to leave the child care centre or school, create a goodbye routine. Give your child a cheerful and confident goodbye. Reassure your child that you'll be back at the end of the day and when, for example, "after storytime." Never sneak out during the child care drop-off. Always tell your child you are leaving. Although it might be tempting, sneaking away when your child is engaged in activity will likely cause him to have a harder time trusting when you will leave and when you will return. Let the teachers know when you are ready to leave. Teachers want to nurture children through the transition and need to know when to help your child say goodbye. Say goodbye to the teachers. Leave quickly; don't linger at the door.
    • After you leave, reflect upon the morning. It's normal to feel a bit anxious or concerned during child care drop-offs. Call the daycare centre any time for updates and reassurance. Understand that it's normal for many children to shed tears, scream, or beg you not to go. If this happens, think about the happy children you saw during the pre-visits or ask for a call later. Be careful not to judge the class by drop-off time. This is one of the most hectic times and isn't usually typical of the rest of the day. Remind yourself that your child is in a wonderful child care setting, playing, learning, enjoying new experiences, and developing relationships with teachers who will do everything possible to help him feel secure and happy.

    When a child is sent off at daycare for the first time, it can be a difficult transition for their parents. During this time, when you are all adjusting to the new routines and your baby is getting used to their new environment, it is not an easy time for anyone. During this time, make sure that your young one gets lots of extra hugs and kisses at home so that they know everything is going to be okay.

    Have trust that you, your partner, and your child will make it through this difficult time, and that your child will be healthy. Have faith, mother, that you are up to the challenge. Your child is going to have a wonderful time participating in this activity. They will acquire new acquaintances and knowledge, both of which will contribute to the overall improvement of their performance. Have faith that this, too, will eventually be behind you.

    Exciting things happen at school. It's a great location to meet new people and pick up some new skills at the same time. Children take an important first step towards being ready for elementary school and kindergarten by enrolling in preschool or daycare. You should do some research in order to find a daycare centre where you will feel at ease leaving your children for a few hours each day. The thought of sending your children to daycare for the first time may fill you with dread, but reviewing the advice presented here can help you get ready for the transition. Best of luck!

    FAQs About Daycare

    Swimming classes, group music lessons and playtime at the local park are all great ways for your child to practice skills they will learn at daycare, such as sharing, spending time in larger groups and taking turns. As the time approaches, try leaving your child for a few hours at a time with a trusted adult.

    Generally speaking, waiting until after your child has had their first birthday can be a good time to start looking into a childcare service. Many parents look to between one and two years of age.

    On average, most children take about three to six months to fully adapt to a new situation. The more your child engages in the daycare facility and any activities they offer, the faster they will adapt. In fact, some children have adjusted to daycare in as quickly as two weeks!

    Allow expression of feelings.

    The best way to support your child at these times is to listen and help them identify their feelings. Provide reassurance through cuddles and let them know it is okay and normal to be sad and to express their feelings however feels appropriate.

    It is a good idea to pack ahead of time and print out a checklist with everything you'll need, such as:

    • Extra clothes (extra layers with at least 3-4 outfit changes)
    • Diaper supplies (diapers, diaper cream, wipes)
    • Nap supplies (blankets, sleep sacks)
    • Feeding supplies (bottles, nipples, liners, milk or formula)
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