Prepare Your Child

The introductory period in any child care arrangement is a big change for you and your child. It can be a very emotional experience for your family but with some advance planning, the transition can be easier. Time spent helping your child through a gentle separation can prevent problems later and can get all of you off to a good start. Some ways to help a smooth transition are:

  • Talk to your child about the new arrangement and what the days will be like.
  • Plan to spend time in the new child care arrangement with your child before the day he or she actually begins care full-time. If possible, start with a part-time arrangement to ease your child into the new child care program.
  • Try to feel and act positively toward the new experience.
  • Make sure the provider knows about your child’s special items for comfort (a pacifier, bottle, blanket, stuffed animal)- and make sure they are available.
  • Give your child a photograph of you and your family to take along.
  • Say goodbye directly to your child and the provider each day. Never sneak away while your child is involved in play.
  • The first week, you may find it best to leave your child soon after arriving.  Remember to phone the provider as soon as you get to work to see how your child is doing. Long good-byes can often be more difficult for all concerned.