Children respond better to routine and people they know. Changes, such as switching from full-time care from a nanny to a daycare, can sometimes be challenging. Fortunately for you and your child, there are ways you can make the transition a bit easier for him or her. Here are some tips to help your child adjust to attending daycare.
Visit the Daycare
The more prepared your child is for the upcoming changes to his or her caregiver, the better it will go for both you and your child when it is time to go to daycare. At least a week before your child makes the switch to daycare, take him or her on a tour of the daycare.
If possible, ask the nanny to accompany the child on the tour. He or she can help point out exciting things about the daycare and help sell your child on the switch to daycare.
Ask the Nanny for Care Tips
Having spent time with your child, the nanny has insight into caring for your child in your absence that could be useful to the daycare staff. Ask the nanny to write down some favorite activities of your child that he or she does when they are together.
The nanny can also provide tips for handling behavioral issues with the child and ways to comfort him or her. You can review the tips with the daycare staff. The tips can help provide some consistency in the care your child receives, which will help him or her transition easier.
Practice for the Big Day
The first day is usually the most difficult day. To help your child prepare for it, practice for it. Have your child go through the whole routine involved with getting ready for the first day. For instance, let your child help pick out clothes to wear.
You can also help your child pack a bag to take with him or her for the first day. Logically, you cannot send a large bag of toys to school, but let your child pick a favorite toy or book that he or she can take for the first day. You can even let him or her pick a picture of the family to place in the cubby at school.
During practice, talk your child through every thing that will happen that day. Be sure to reassure your child that you will be there on time to pick him or her up every day.
Talk to your child's daycare staff to discuss other ways to help make the transition smoother.