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 their child for a new early care and education experience.
Children generally feel more secure and comfortable with people and places they have seen before.

Here are some ways to possibly make the transition easier:

  • 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. to set expectations.
  • Talk to your child about their 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 your child who will pick them 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 their 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.
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