How to prepare your child for their first day at daycare

first day at daycare
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As your Little One grows, new experiences are ahead of them. Getting ready for the first day at daycare is paramount, since you want them to make the best of this new adventure!

We’ve taken advantage of our experience at our own daycare facilities to create a practical guide for parents that are experimenting with this new phase. Here’s what you should know and how to take the first steps towards it!

Preparation for the first day at daycare

There are a few initiatives you can implement to create a safe and enthusiastic atmosphere before the big First Day!

Consider following these steps to help navigate this change in their lives, adapt to a new daily routine and make the best of this new experience – both you and the child!

Visit the place in advance

This is an opportunity to introduce the future student to the environment they’ll start to attend.

Explore the place together; take a look at other children playing and make sure to comment with your child about how happy they look! The idea behind it is to create a positive connection with the daycare and get them excited to participate in it.

If you sense your child is a little skeptical about going to daycare, consider starting with shorter visits, in which the child will spend a few hours there and start to get used to the environment before the big First Day comes.

Talk about the daycare experience at home

Taking a close look at the daycare is important, and so is to talk about it at home.

Comment on positive things that happen when a child goes to daycare to get your Little One worked up about it. You can mention that:

  • Children going to daycare make new friends;
  • They can play new games;
  • They learn new things;
  • They have new experiences that they can share with their family when they’re back home;
  • Children that attend daycare are courageous and adventurous (you can adapt to any other adjective that resonates with your child’s personality).

Adjust expectations

While talking about daycare is all fun and games, it’s important that the child knows that you have a commitment with them after they’re done with it.

This means that they can expect to pick them up everyday when the shift is over. You can also talk about what you’ll do together after you’re back home – like talk about things you learned during the day and what you wish for the next day that’s coming.

Connect with the daycare staff

You, as a parent, have to be prepared for the First Day as well! Feel free to connect with the daycare staff beforehand and discuss any topics you find it’s important.

You can discuss concerns you might have with your child’s adaptation. The staff can share their own experience on how to handle that, which will likely reassure you.

Or, if they have any special needs, it’s fundamental that you talk about it with the staff.

How the manage the first day at daycare

Creating a routine starting from day one is important. This will help the child feel eased about going out and spending the day away from Mom and Dad.

Start the day right

Have as much of a positive start to a day. If necessary, prepare a few things in advance or at the night before to ensure you don’t have too many things going on at once at the morning of the beginning of daycare.

Spend your time enjoying your breakfast, getting your child ready to leave, reinforcing that today is an exciting day and you’re happy that your child is about to make new friends and learn new things!

Establish the right routine

When it comes to preparing for leaving for daycare, repetition is important.

So consider your child’s needs, your own routine, and use it to come up with a standard.

For example: before your child leaves, the routine could go like this:

  • Washing their face;
  • Having breakfast/lunch;
  • Brush teeth;
  • Diaper change or potty;
  • Change clothes;
  • Get the hair fixed;
  • Get a backpack and prepare to leave!

Communicate and demonstrate excitement

Remember that children are little sponges that absorb what’s around them. If you demonstrate that you’re excited and feeling peaceful about daycare, the sensation will likely be transmitted to your Little One.

Separation anxiety and the start of daycare

Although we hope our children will not suffer from separation anxiety, this is actually a common situation, and can be easily handled.

First of all, make your goodbye at the daycare quick and sweet. Don’t extend it and remind the Little One you’ll be there to pick them up later.

Lastly: be kind and be patient (with yourself!)

Keeping in mind the positives about having your child in daycare is helpful: if/when you struggle yourself with separation anxiety, remember that you need your own personal time that you can spend with yourself or working.

Also, your child benefits immensely from going to daycare! That’s one of the first steps to help them create social bonds and succeed in school in the future ahead.

As you can see, there’s a lot of preparation before the first day at daycare! However, be mindful to not let it weigh heavily on you.

If something goes off trail during all these arrangements, don’t be hard on yourself about it! Instead, take a look at what went wrong, understand why it happened, and focus on adjusting it for the next few days.

All set for daycare? Let’s go!

Remember that your child will have better chances of adapting to anything if you feel secure and confident about it!

Now you’re packed with advice on how to handle your Little One’s first day of daycare! Remember that this is an important milestone in their life, and you’re being a great parent by offering your child the opportunity to evolve and grow.

Naturally, you want to ensure your child gets the best education and stimuli they possibly can: so here’s how to choose the best daycare!

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