Transitioning your child to childcare can feel intimidating, but with a strong plan in place, it’s possible to provide a positive experience, helping your child to prepare for childcare with confidence and enthusiasm.
To help you support your child ahead of the transition to childcare, here are 5 tips to keep in mind.
1. Talk about childcare
Before your child starts at a childcare centre, it’s important that they know what to expect. Talk to your child about the activities they’ll participate in at their early learning centre, encouraging them to feel excited about meeting new friends and engaging in fun play-based activities.
Help your child to understand what kinds of systems and routines are used at their childcare centre. Where relevant, it may be helpful to practise certain skills and routines at home. These things might include teaching your child how to have their temperature taken, empty their plate at lunchtime, or sit down for a story before nap time. Check with your chosen childcare provider to find out about centre-specific routines.
2. Prepare for learning concepts
To help your child enter childcare with confidence in their ability to learn and grow, begin to introduce educational concepts at home, supporting your child to develop a love of learning.
Depending on your child’s age and interests, you might choose to engage them in educational activities related to literacy, numeracy, science, or sustainability. By encouraging your child to participate in structured learning, you’ll be able to help them prepare for similar activities at childcare.
3. Make time at home
Once your child starts attending an early learning centre, they’ll have less time at home with you, so it’s important to make time to focus on family. Ensure that your child has plenty of quality time to spend with you and other family members as they make the transition to childcare.
A good way of incorporating quality time once your child is at childcare is to plan for fun weekend activities and to take time to play, read, and eat together each night before bedtime.
4. Ease into a childcare routine
Transitioning to childcare is a big shift in your child’s routine, so you’ll need to plan for the impact this may have on meal and sleep schedules. Be prepared to adjust your home routines to align with your child’s new routines at their early learning centre.
To ease the transition to childcare, be as organised as possible, allowing plenty of time for your child to settle into their centre. Transition gradually to childcare, first visiting the centre with your child, then starting with half days before progressing to a full-day program.
5. Promote confidence
While you may feel nervous about leaving your child at childcare for the first time, it’s important to approach childcare with confidence. This will help your child to understand that attending a childcare centre is a good thing, not something to be afraid of.
Say goodbye to your child calmly and with a smile on your face. Remind your child of the fun they will have at their early learning centre and that you will be back soon to pick them up and hear all about their day.
If you’re looking for a great childcare centre in your area, MyXplor can help by providing location-specific listings. For example, a parent-based in Doncaster, Victoria, might visit the MyXplor Doncaster listing to filter and search for local childcare providers.