The first day at daycare can be an overwhelming experience for some parents and children. At Redlynch Daycare Centre, we aim to provide a warm and welcoming environment for new children, and it’s our goal to wholeheartedly support all families as they integrate to the new and unfamiliar setting that a daycare centre offers. Below are some of our top tips to make the first day at daycare as rewarding as possible.
- Visit the centre as a family prior to the first day.
Visiting the daycare facility prior to the first day will help your child become familiar with the settings and meet some of the children they may be spending more time with. It will give them the opportunity to develop more realistic expectations and prepare for their first day.
- Communicate with your child.
Having conversations with your child and validating their feelings is vital. Be transparent about daycare and explain what is going to happen on the first day. Establishing an open relationship with your children where they feel comfortable expressing their concerns to you will be beneficial in the short and long term.
- Choose a daycare centre that you can trust and that makes your family feel comfortable.
As a parent, it can be mentally challenging to leave your child is someone else’s care. It’s important that you select a daycare centre that shares similar values and beliefs to you, as this will help you trust your carer and feel confident that your family is safe and secure throughout the day.
- Allow time in the morning to help your child settle in.
Spending some time with your child in the daycare centre on their first day will help them feel more comfortable and relaxed in their new surroundings. You can help them interact with the educators and their peers before you leave.
- Get into a morning routine prior to the first day.
To help your child adapt to the daycare routine, you might want to consider waking up at a set time and getting dressed and ready by a set time in the days leading up to the first day. Your child will then become familiar with the process and be less overwhelmed when the time finally comes.
- Plan accordingly so you can pick up your child on time.
Take additional care to pick your child up on time at the end of the day, as this will reduce the likelihood of them getting anxious and homesick when other children start to leave. If you will be working throughout the day, you might want to warn your employer about what time you will need to leave the office.
- Stay positive.
Most importantly, you should aim to use positive language and express positive behaviours when discussing daycare and preparing for daycare with your child. Children are known to reflect the emotions and behaviours of their parents, so being confident and positive will help to keep your child relaxed and encourage excitement about the first day.