Preparing Your Child

Families know their children best. A child’s temperament, age and prior early care and education experience can help families figure out the best way to prepare him/her for a new early care and education experience.
 
Here are some ways to make the transition easier for any child. Remember that children feel more secure and comfortable with people and places they have seen before.
  • Visit the program or provider with your child at least once before care is to begin. Ideally, let your child meet the teachers or provider, play with the other children and explore the rooms. 
  • If you are unable to visit, drive by the program a few times before care begins, so you can show your child the location and area. 
  • Ask the teacher or provider how they transition children into the program. If possible, start your child slowly with several partial days of care, rather than beginning with a full day of care.
  • Explain to your child what will happen on the first few days. Ask the teacher or provider about daily schedules, special activities, etc., so you can tell your child what to expect. 
  • Talk to your child about his/her feelings and try to be reassuring if your child displays any signs of anxieties. 
  • Read books with your child on the topic of starting new early care and education. 
  • Always say goodbye to your child and be sure to tell him/her who will pick him/her up and at what time.
  • Take some photographs of your family, pets, and home to the provider so that your child can find comfort in them in his/her new surroundings. 
  • Talk to other families who have recently transitioned their child into care for ideas that have worked for them and their children. 
  • If you are expecting a baby, try to establish your baby’s care well before the due date. 
  • Greet your child warmly and happily at the end of each day.

Adapted from Beansprout 2002

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