Is your child going to have a new caregiver or change daycare centres? Follow these tips to manage a change in daycare smoothly.
1. Be patient
Every child needs time to adapt. Respect your child’s rhythm and don’t pressure them.
+ On average, children can take between two weeks and a month to adjust to a new daycare.
+ Keep in mind that sometimes a child only reacts to the change after an initial period, once the element of surprise and novelty has worn off.
+ Let them express her feelings without judging them.
2. Be positive
Set a good example for your child. In other words, it’s important to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the new daycare in order to manage this change smoothly.
+ Talk about its advantages and why you made that choice. Demonstrate your confidence about the decision and let your child know he or she is safe.
3. Talk to the educators
Daycare workers are used to helping children manage change. They can give you some tips and show you their methods for dealing with such situations.
+ Discuss the reasons and the context of this change with them so they understand exactly what your child is living through.
4. Stay in contact
Allowing children to stay in contact with caregivers and friends at their previous daycare will help them manage the change.
+ It will also help to make the transition much smoother.
5. Check out the new surroundings together
As with any change, providing an opportunity for the child to adapt gradually can be useful when you want to manage a change in daycare.
+ Visit the new place together before the first full day, and introduce your little one to all the caregivers. Then, leave your child for just a few hours at first, and increase the length and number of days as you go along.
6. Create a ritual
If it will make your child feel safer, decide on a morning ritual before going to the new daycare.
+ Agree on how you’ll say goodbye to each other or come up with a special handshake. Find something that will be both fun and reassuring.
7. Positive reinforcement
Pay attention to your child’s efforts to adapt.
+ Talk with the caregivers and reward your child when he or she behaves well, has made a new friend, or has made an effort to fit in.
8. Don’t do things for your child
Learning to handle stressful situations is important for children.
+ Encourage your child to move forward, to participate in activities, to be open to caregivers and daycare buddies.
+ Tell your child he or she can do it and that you’re there if they need help, but don’t take the first steps on their behalf.
+ Every effort, and every success, he or she makes will restore confidence in their own resources and surroundings.
By following these tips, you should be able to help your little one manage a change in daycare. Next step: school!