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Entering childcare can be emotional for parents and children alike, but it doesn’t have to be anything less than a positive experience.  Operating for 38 years in Ontario, Wee Watch childcare Providers have transitioned a lot of children into care successfully.  Here is a round-up of tips to help you!

  • Read a book to your child about daycare and talk about it in a loving and positive way! Point out daycare centers and schools in your neighborhood with children playing happily. Some good ones are; Maisy goes to Preschool, Bye-Bye Time, The Invisible String, Mommy always comes back to you
  • Practice separation – some children have very little interaction with people other than their parents and some have a lot. Depending on the experience of your child, start getting them used to being alone with people other than mom and dad, even for just a short period of time. Set positive expectations up front with your child about leaving (ie I’ll be back right after you have your lunch with Sue)
  • If you child struggles with separation, try a gradual approach to starting care, 2 hours the first day and then increase to 4 and then full days
  • Prep your childcare Provider – tell them foods your child likes, when they nap, what games and books they like, and have your child bring along a favorite stuffy or blanket to make them feel more at home
  • Talk up your Provider and daycare in general! Make it exciting, for example, you will have so much fun with the kids at Sue’s house!  You are so big, going to daycare!, Daycare is the most fun!!
  • Bridge the separation – tell your child about the next time you will see them, for example; “when I pick you up from daycare, we will…”, “On our way home from daycare, we will go to the grocery store”, these prompts help your child look forward to and connect when they will see you next
  • Make drop offs short and sweet – a quick good-bye with a smile and perhaps a special way to indicate you are leaving, a special hug, a wave from the window, a quick saying between the two of you to signal love and that you will be back
  • Manage your emotions – children take their cues from parents and are always listening! Be careful not to express any anxiety about taking them to childcare to friends or family when they are in earshot. Be sure not to cry at drop off or indicate in anyway that you are sad about leaving them in daycare.  If you treat all discussions and interactions positively, the children will follow this cue!