Two Tips To Follow To Make Your Child’s First Day at a Childcare Centre Go Smoothly

Going to a childcare centre for the first time can be a significant step for both a child and their parents. If your child is about to do this soon, here are some tips to follow.

Explain to your child what this childcare centre will be like before they go

One of the challenges of this transition is that young children can find the idea of going to an unfamiliar place, and being taken care of by people they don't yet know, instead of their parents, quite intimidating. Whilst most children overcome this apprehension very quickly once they start experiencing all the positive aspects of being at a childcare facility, their worries can make their first day in this setting a bit difficult.

If you sense that your child is apprehensive about this, then you should try to explain to them what their days will be like at the childcare centre, shortly before their first day. You might want to talk to them about the types of fun games they'll get to play and art activities they'll get to do, show them pictures of the childcare centre (so they can familiarise themselves with it), and explain that they'll get to make lots of friends in this new place. This conversation could help to reduce their apprehension and encourage them to look forward to this new adventure. This, in turn, should make them less anxious, and less likely to cry or have a tantrum, on their first day.

Try not to stay too long or make too big a deal of dropping your child off at the child care centre

A child's first day at a childcare centre can be just as daunting for their parents as it is for them. You might feel surprisingly emotional when the time comes to let them go into the childcare centre and start their first day. Because of this, you may find yourself wanting to hang around and feeling the need to cry. However, whilst it's normal for this to be an emotional moment, it's important not to make too big a deal out of it in front of your child, as they will probably follow your lead, and get upset, if they see that, for example, you're holding back your tears and appear to be upset about them going into this new place.

This could result in them spending their first few hours at the centre being distressed. Conversely, if you give them a quick hug and a bright smile (and wait until they've gone inside to shed a tear), they'll be much less likely to react strongly to this moment and should quickly become happily distracted by the other children soon after their first day begins.

Reach out to a centre for child care to learn more.