The transition to going to daycare can be a scary time for children (and for some parents), especially for kids that haven't been away from mom and dad before. To help prep them for daycare (and for school), it's important to keep it a positive experience so they'll want to go to daycare rather than dread it each day. See below for helpful tips to prepare your child for daycare. They can be beneficial for you as the parent as well.
Talk to Your Child About Daycare Ahead of Time
Discuss the things your child will be doing at daycare. Tell them about the other kids they'll meet and get to play with. Tell them about the new toys they'll see and talk to them about their teacher and some of the activities they'll get to do at daycare, such as painting, coloring, and crafting. Talking to your child ahead of time will help get them used to the idea of going to a new place and help to diminish any fears of the unknown they may have.
Have Your Child Pick Out a Backpack
A backpack that your child can take to daycare may be helpful for them. Allow them to choose their own backpack, even if they may not necessarily need one for daycare. It may help if they can take it with each day to bring home any coloring pages or craft work they did that day to show you. It can be a small mini-backpack (rather than a regular-sized one). One that has a special character your child likes is a good pick.
Keep Goodbyes Positive and Short
When saying your goodbyes at daycare, keep things positive. Tell your child to have a great day and give a quick hug and a kiss goodbye. Don't leave in tears; save those for the car and out of your child's sight. If you're crying, your child will think something is wrong and won't want you to leave. Make your goodbye fast; don't linger in the room or in the doorway. If you're positive about leaving your child, they'll be more positive about staying at daycare without you.
Making the experience a positive one will help your child be positive about going to daycare each and every day. Ask your child about their day and allow them to tell you everything they did that day. Talk to the daycare teacher about other things you can do to help prepare your child and to help ease their fears.
You can also talk to a daycare such as Mountainside School to get tips.