There are a lot of items that you put into consideration when choosing a daycare for your child.
Does it match our family’s philosophy? Are they nice people? Is it clean? How far is it from home? What is the cost? Meals… What do they look like?
The list when choosing a childcare provider can be long or short depending on your family, but once you’ve made a decision, the next step, well leap, is starting school!
Centres should provide you with something called Orientation Week. Orientation gives parents the opportunity to sit in a classroom and visit with the staff and children in the program. It allows everyone to get to know each other, and childcare providers to know everything about your child. Orientation week is highly recommended to support a smooth transition for children, especially infants and toddlers.
The ultimate goal is that children transfer trust from their parents to one or more of the caregivers in the classroom. The hours are gradually increased throughout the week, so children see parents leave and come back, building trust. Trust is vital in supporting their transition and lowering anxiety levels.
Have a Conversation & Prepare Ahead of Time
The conversation about what is happening is so important for children of all ages. If comprehension is not quite there, it is still important to be talking them through the steps of the day. “Today we are going to visit your new school!”. Allow them to help pack their backpack and organize their belongings. If a child has a small favourite toy or blanket, bring it! Teachers can transition toys back home, but providing that comfort is important for the first few weeks.
Tell your child that you will be leaving, but coming back. Do not lie to them, and avoid false promises. Children are smart, and as parents, it’s important to validate those big emotions and provide true promises. They may cry (you may as well!)—That is ok! We are here to provide hugs, space, and activities to give your child exactly what they need until you come back!
If you, as a parent, are having a hard time-come to the office and have a seat. We are here to help you through the transition as well- it is a big adjustment for everyone! As the days go on, the tears will be fewer until the day that they walk in and run into their teacher’s arms. Those days are bittersweet for parents, but we are so thankful to be a part of your child’s milestones!