The decision to take your child to a Wee Watch child care centre is a monumental one for most parents. Even if you always intended to do so before your child was born, finding a quality centre and the emotional process of leaving your little one there are big steps for both you and your child. It is important to keep in mind that your family will need time to adjust to the situation, some days will be easier than others, even if your child likes the place.
Whether you are starting outside of your home child care for the first time or have found a new child care arrangement, there are several things you can do to help your child make the adjustment as smoothly as possible.
Get to know exactly your child’s caretaker. Go to visit the child care centre by yourself ahead of time, tour the facility and talk with your child’s caregiver. This will help you be familiar with the situation and you can answer your child’s questions. You will feel comfortable with the place and the caregiver once you have taken the time to familiarize yourself with them.
Have a meet and greet session–or three. Visit the centre with your child and show her around the place and let her meet the caregivers ahead of time. It is ideal if you can let your child play and browse to become familiar with things. This will make your leaving easier when the time comes.
Talk about how the day will go when your child is at the centre. Tell him about the general routine of the day (ask the caregivers ahead of time how the day goes). Do not build it up with false excitement and make the facility out to be an amusement park, but do mention a couple of fun things you know he will enjoy doing. Let him know specifically when you will be back to pick him up. For example, after snack or playground time and the like.
In this day and age, there are many ways you can keep in touch with what your child is doing while she is away from you at the child care centre. With the advantages of technology and social media, your child’s caregiver can send you a photo once in awhile or a few lines to let you know how the day is going. Some centres even have a video feed where parents can check in on their child throughout the day.
The key to a smooth transition into a new care centre is familiarity. The more your child knows about the place and the caregivers, the more he or she has been there with you, the easier it will make things on that first day. Remember, though, it will take some time for both of you to adjust–there will be ups and downs, but in good time everyone will adjust and find a smooth routine.