When your child has been cared for in your home, it’s important to prepare for the transition to a daycare environment. While it’s likely that your child will love the atmosphere at a daycare, there will be some differences between this environment and being cared for at home. Here are some items to consider.
- Structure. The daycare environment will likely be a little more structured than the environment at home. Your child might adjust more easily if you keep their first days at daycare short so that they can adjust to the structure gradually.
- Schedule. Daycare classrooms operate on a fairly set schedule. So, your child may have to adjust to a different nap time or lunch time than he or she is accustomed to. To make the adjustment easier, find out the schedule in advance of your first day and try to start adjusting your home schedule in the direction of the daycare schedule before your child’s first day, if possible.
- Food. Be sure to discuss any dietary restrictions your child has in advance of the first day, and learn the schedule and sample menus, as well. Most daycares can be flexible in meeting your child’s food preferences, as well as restrictions.
- Separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is normal. Shorter days during the first week will help with this anxiety as your child adjusts to you leaving and returning. If your child cries when you leave, remember not to drag out your exit. Say your goodbyes, remind your child that you will return, and then leave.
Most children adjust to daycare easily and are having the time of their lives before you know it. With a little care and forethought, you can make the transition to daycare in Minneapolis simple and seamless.
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