Many children have trouble adjusting to new environments and this trouble is never more evident as when trying to get the child to daycare. Depending on your family situation, it may take a few days for your child to adjust and get used to the new environment. In most cases, the age of the child will determine how fast they adjust. If you have been the child’s constant companion and primary caregiver for several years, making the adjustment to licensed daycare in Vaughan can be difficult.
While the transition may seem difficult at first, the good news is that eventually, most children make peace with the change and they even begin to enjoy it. When visiting the daycare center, talk to the care provider about how the care providers deal with kids that have separation anxiety. This can give you peace of mind and you can even learn some important tips. Following are some steps that you can take to make the change of routine more comfortable for your child.
Visiting the daycare center
A good way to make the transition easy for your child is by visiting the facility one or more times before the starting day. Instead of simply showing up for the first time and leaving the child in the strange environment, it helps if he or she has been to the facility before. Scheduling a few short visits can help the child to feel more comfortable because the environment will be familiar. When you decide to visit the facility, encourage the child to interact with the caregiver and other children. It may take some time before the child is comfortable to take part in activities but at least he or she will adjust eventually.
Research separation anxiety
When you decide to get out-of-home care for your child, you need to understand all you can about separation anxiety. You can get some books or resources that will help you to understand what to expect and you can learn important tips about how to deal with the issue. You can choose a book that you can read along with your child. Talk to the child about his or her feelings and explain why the new arrangement is necessary. Show the child the positives by explaining how he or she will get new friends to play with. Remember your attitude will affect the child’s feelings and you have to remain positive.
Adequate sleep schedule
It is important to get your child into a good sleep schedule days or weeks before daycare begins. Remember that young children require plenty of sleep each night and you need to plan your time well so that you can prepare your child without having to hurry through the process. The last thing the child needs is to feel like he or she is being rushed off to this new place! Come up with a good schedule that includes regular bedtime and wake-up time. Think about the child’s age and remember that a regular sleep schedule will ensure that the child feels a sense of security during the transition.
Preparing for the day
The day before the child is due for daycare, take the time to prepare him or her while offering reassurance about the experience. Talk to the child while putting him to bed, sing or read a book to him and create a routine that the child will look forward to. You can allow the child to pick out the clothes that he or she wants to wear to daycare or to select a favorite toy or item that provides comfort. This sense of involvement will help the child to be mentally prepared to go to daycare. It is a good idea to check with the daycare to confirm if there are items that they do not allow at the facility.
Start with a few hours
Another way to help your child is by starting slow. If possible, enroll the child for one or two hours each day for a few weeks. As the child adjusts to the hours, you can leave him for longer. This may not be possible if you are going back to work or starting a new job. If you can get to the facility an hour earlier, you can give the child time to get accustomed in your presence. It is, however, important to talk to the caregivers before you plan to spend time at the facility.
When you finally leave your child at the daycare center, reassure the child that you will be back at a specific time and then leave. The child may show some distress but you have to be firm and explain that you have to leave. The caregiver will take over and this will allow you to leave. Remember that the care providers have experience dealing with this type of situation because they go through it with virtually every child. The pattern of separation anxiety might happen for a couple of days and it is important to avoid being impatient with the child.