How to Prepare Your Children for Childcare

When your child is starting daycare or nursery, it's a big deal for your family. Here are tips on how to prepare your children for childcare.

These days, many families are figuring things out as they come.
One of the most unanswered questions in the world is related to work-life balance – it seems that it’s a common struggle with people across the world, regardless of age, income, location, etc. I know that I set up a life of working remotely when my second child was two, because my oldest was in preschool, the littlest was doing half-time daycare, and my career was taking off. That was seven years ago, and I haven’t looked back once. Even though I now have a toddler and an infant, as well as an elementary school aged kid and a middle schooler. So many ages and stages, and the balance is even hard for my husband, who was given a paternity leave. Since the recent trend of working from home, working hours stretch way beyond the 9-5 schedule. You’re replying to business emails over dinner and spending the rest of the day on your laptop.

It’s the perfect time to think about childcare for our toddler. Is he ready? Are WE?

How to Prepare Your Children for Childcare:

1 – Talk about it.

You’ll want to ease your child into the idea, because it’s a big one. Some children start daycare or nursery at a very young age, and will need less of a conversation, but having a toddler or preschooler is a whole different story. My third child will be just about three when he begins childcare, and nursery for 3 year olds can be daunting for all. It doesn’t have to be. My older two have always loved knowing information and details ahead of time. So we always talk about upcoming plans in advance. When he began nursery, we talked it all out; about daycare cots, school, camp, etc.

2 – Visit the location first.

For our local daycare and nursery (and of course, kindergarten and above), the locations always offer orientations, visits, and also visits in which the parents stay for the full time at first, and then it gets less and less, as you wean the child into the transition.

3 – Be honest with your kids.

It’s best not to sneak off when it’s time to go. Tell your child where you need to go and give them a loving hug, kiss, talk, etc. You can be firm and consistent about leaving, but still be loving to them.

4 – Comfort items.

Blankets, stuffed animals, and loveys can help as transition items. Make sure they are labeled and if it’s a particularly loved item, you have a plan in place with a backup or maybe to leave the prized one at home and talk them into using another.

A good childcare facility, like Caboosh, has a spacious yard for outdoor activities like ball games and running around. The fresh air, sunlight, and open environment contribute to the development and overall well-being of the children.

5 – Get your paperwork in order.

Children need to have physical/immunization paperwork from within the previous year, if applicable, so either schedule that appointment or have your Pediatrician send over the paperwork. I generally get two copies. Also, make a list of your emergency contacts, and who will be able to pick up your child. This is very important to have a list of emergency contacts in case you or your co-caregiver cannot be reached.

Being honest with your kids about what to expect in a childcare facility by explaining the daily routine, covering activities, playtime, meals, and nap schedules. Introduce the caregivers or teachers, highlighting their role in providing care and support. Emphasize that childcare involves fun and learning experiences, fostering a positive attitude toward the new environment.

So, do you have any tips on how to prepare your children for childcare?

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