Preparing for Daycare: Things to Do One Month in Advance

When a child starts daycare, it can be quite stressful for the whole family. It's a time of significant change, which can mean upheaval for everyone in your household, and that's without even considering the impact of you and your child missing each other.

Although there's no way to make yourself feel completely better with your little one being away from home for the first time, a bit of advance planning certainly helps. By starting that planning a month in advance, you give yourself enough time to prepare everything you need and get your family used to any changes in routine. These are the most important things to do in the month prior to your child's first day in daycare.

Adjust sleeping routines

It can be quite a shock to the system for everyone when a more rigid routine becomes necessary. Starting that routine at least a month in advance helps you all get used to it. Make sure you're sending your child to bed at a decent time and waking them up in the morning at the same time you'll need to when daycare starts. You should also make sure you're getting an early night yourself if you'll have to get up earlier than you're used to.

Go shopping

Start buying all the things your child will need a month in advance so you have plenty of time if you forget anything on your first shopping trip. Check with the daycare centre to find out what the child needs to bring with them. Buying a treat like a new bag or some colouring pencils can help make the experience more fun.

Pay a visit

If the daycare centre allows, take your child to have a look around before they start. They'll feel much better on that first day if they already have some idea of what to expect.

Write down your plans

No matter how well you think you'll remember everything, it's best to write it down so nothing is forgotten. Include the start and end times, anything you need to buy, and a packing list for that first morning when you might find yourself rushing around in a panic.

Make sure your child understands

You should spend plenty of time talking things through with your child, checking that they know what to expect and that there's nothing to fear. You could even share some stories about the fun things you did at daycare and school, so they'll be looking forward to their own experiences.