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Tips for Starting Child Care

Tips for Starting Child Care

Is your child beginning care in a group setting for the first time? Starting daycare can be a stressful lifestyle change for any family. There are lots of resources out there for choosing and starting child care, but today, the Family Room bloggers – experienced daycare parents – share their own best tips for starting daycare.

baby drinking a bottle at daycare

First Day of Daycare: Tips for Families Starting Group Care

Amy: My best advice for a family starting child care is to connect with the teachers. There’s nothing harder than leaving your child in the hands of someone you recently met or seemingly know little about. By partnering with teachers and caregivers right from the start, you’ll quickly establish that familial connection and, most often, learn that teachers have a wealth of resources to help working parents with this transition. Plus, it’s helpful to establish a communications plan early to pave the way for how information is shared for the years to come (i.e. it’s best to chat during drop-off or at the end of the day). I shared a lot of lessons learned through my own baby’s first days in daycare.

Allison: Just know that it gets better! Starting child care was extremely hard for my family at first. I cried my entire drive to work for the first two weeks, but then it got better. I talked to my child’s teacher to learn a bit more about her, so I knew when I dropped her off she was in good hands. My daughter wouldn’t want to leave when it was time for pick-up, so I knew she was enjoying herself which made it a lot easier.

Mary: Give yourself plenty of extra time during the first week for drop-off. You’ll need it to make sure you’ve packed everything and to give your child extra snuggles each morning. Don’t worry, your child will adjust fine, it will be you as the parent that will find the new routine a bit of a challenge.

Heather: Talk to everyone. Each child has a different experience starting child care, each parent does, too. Open communication with the teachers is really important. If you are unsure of something, ask them – no question or concern is too small. And, give it time. Transitions are hard. The first week will be different than the second and the third…

Laura: It WILL get better and easier. Just give it time, be patient, and you will fall into your new rhythm before you know it. If you need to, schedule some additional transition days, or be sure to spend some extra time at drop-off in those first few days so your little one can get used to the environment with you there. This can also help you really get a feel for how great the teachers are when they interact with your child and the other children as they ramp up for and go through their day.

Media Mom: Some people say to tune out all the advice you get, but my tip, if you choose to take it, is to listen to everyone you can. Everyone has a different experience, and prepare as you might, you’ll never quite know how it will go for you or your child until your first several weeks. For me, knowing that lots of different people had lots of different experiences was comforting for me.

Baby painting art

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5 comments

  1. Lauren August 20, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    I love Amy’s tip about connecting with the teachers. You definitely want to make sure that you have a good relationship so that you can stay informed on your child’s behavior and progress! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Clarice October 22, 2015 at 9:35 am

    I love these tips. Childcare can be really hard to figure out. I mean, you want to make sure that your child is getting the absolute BEST care, you know? I love what Amy said about communicating with teachers. I totally agree that good communication between teachers and parents is SO important. If you don’t have good communication, how can you expect to know how your child is doing when you’re away?

  3. Geetha January 7, 2016 at 12:30 am

    We all need nothing but the BEST for our kids.Including smart curative toys in the child’s curriculum is the latest new technique child care centers have now adapted. It helps in the all round development of the child. They surely learn while they play and the best part is that the kids don’t realize they have actually been learning lot of stuffs!

  4. Sarah Smith May 19, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    I’m trying to find a good child care center for my daughter but also want to make sure that she is prepared to go. Thanks for the advice about connecting with the teachers so that you will feel comfortable about your kid going to that daycare. I’ll have to make sure to befriend the teachers so that my daughter can see me comfortable and then feel comfortable herself.

  5. Lillian Moore June 3, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    I love laura’s comment that it will get better and easier. I am not always a patient person when it comes to other people’s children. They are not my kids so there is a certain boundary that I have to maintain in order for the parents not to feel like I am replacing their parenting methods. When I drop off my son at daycare there are a few times where another child is throwing things at other kids or eating something they shouldn’t and their parent is not paying attention or talking to another parent. I know that this is quite judgemental and I feel terrible about it but I don’t want my son to pick up those rude habits. What do I do to either let it go or teach my son that what the other kids are doing is not ok?

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