Sending your toddler for their first day care is a nerve racking endeavor no matter how you look at it. There will be all sorts of anxiety and you and your family will be worrying about a lot of things. However, there are ways for you to deal with only a minimal amount of stress during those days and the days before and after that.
Before the Big Day
Prepare your child psychologically. Talk to her about where she will be going, and all sorts of fun and activities that she will be doing there with the other kids. Explain the routine in a fun way that she will be able to view it as something fun and interesting.
Spend some time with her before she goes into child care. Bring her to the child care center so that she’ll be familiar of where she will be going.
On the First Day
As much as possible avoid rushing around by keeping organized. Bring her favorite toy or blanket with you so that she will still feel comfortable and you should arrive early so that you can help your toddler settle in. And don’t feel anxious so that you won’t transmit your anxiety towards your child. Then, once you get there, help your child find an activity that she likes and play with her until it’s time to go and when it is, give her a reassuring kiss. Never sneak out of the child center this will only trigger her fear of going to the place.
After the First Day
Knowing that your child has already settled in her new day care environment, make sure that her home environment is as consistently calm as it has always been. Now is a bad time to toilet train her or to even teach her how to sleep on her own without you singing her to sleep.
Try to keep your child care routine the same so that you can give her a sense of security.
If your toddler is still showing some signs of separation anxiety, you can send your partner or somebody else who is not busy but is close to your toddler be with her in the day care. Or, you can talk to her care takers and ask them what happens when you leave because that separation anxiety might be caused by unlikely circumstances and happenings in the day care when you are not around. Then, have a heart to heart talk with your toddler and ask her what’s wrong and what is bothering her. Ask her why she doesn’t like to go to daycare and make sure that the issue is addressed before your next visit.
There are a lot of things to be considered before enrolling your child into a daycare center. But, there are more actions to take once she is already enrolled and once she is ready for that pep talk and that heart to heart talk about being prepared to go to the day care center.