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.
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.
- E-family news: Choosing & Starting Child Care – How to Adjust as a Parent
- Bright Horizons Infant Care: Great Places for Babies
- Bright Horizons Online Community: Starting in the Infant Program – Tips?
- Read more posts about daycare and posts about infants from the Family Room bloggers