We’re glad that you’ve chosen or are at least considering The Learning Circle for your child’s daycare needs. We pride ourselves on providing the highest quality care to the Kirtland and Farmington communities, making sure each child has a unique and comfortable experience with us.
As a parent, you’ve surely realized that there comes a point in every child’s life when he or she is old enough to enter a daycare program and spend significant time away from home. This adjustment can be tough for both parents and children alike, and involves a large change in lifestyle for everyone involved. Although this transition can be tough at first, the vast majority of children do come to terms with this new situation and eventually end up enjoying the prospect of going to daycare. The most difficult part of this adjustment for your child is getting used to you not being there. With this guide, we’re hoping to provide you with the information you need to ensure that your child will be comfortable and happy with their experience at The Learning Circle!
Preparing for the First Day
Although the prospect of letting your child go for the entire day may seem daunting, the first day of daycare should be an exciting day for you and your child. In order to be most prepared for the daycare experience, however, there are some steps you can take to ensure that the transition into daycare life won’t be too much of a shock for your child.
We recommend beginning by arranging a few play dates with other children so that your little one can begin socializing with others as soon as possible. The transition to being in a room full of kids won’t be as shocking if they’ve been exposed to it before, especially if they’ve been comforted by your presence in the past. Leaving your child with a trusted friend, relative, or babysitter for a day or two will also help get them ready for being away from you. This way, any attachment issues will hopefully be settled before you even go to daycare in the first place. Another good preparation tip is to visit the daycare center with your child before their first day. That way, your child will know what to expect and be familiar with the staff before they are dropped off on their first day.
Dropping off your child at daycare for the first time can be one of the most difficult things you have to do as a parent. The most important thing you can do in this situation is to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. If you express any anxiety about dropping your kiddo off, he or she will certainly pick up on it and find reason to worry as well. Allow yourself extra time to get there on the first day so that you don’t feel rushed, and so you have time to walk your child inside and introduce them to the classroom.
Your child may have a difficult time adjusting to you not being there as well, and may end up crying and/or pitching a fit when you attempt to leave. The important thing in this situation is to remind them that you’re coming back, and even go as far to tell them exactly when (i.e. after afternoon snack, playtime, story time, etc.). If this behavior persists, it’s important to not sneak away when they’re not looking, as this might lead to trust issues in the future. Most children who cry at drop off will eventually get over it, and often are playing happily after five or ten minutes.
Establishing a Routine
An advantage of visiting the daycare center ahead of time is getting an insider view of the daily schedule. Taking the time to discuss the daily routine with your child will give them checkpoints that they can look for throughout the day, and let them know exactly when you’ll return to come get them. Also, keep your goodbyes brief! Otherwise, your child will expect you to linger every time you drop them off.
Having the same bedtime and wake-up time each day will also help get your little one into the groove of how the day works. For kids, repetition can be a great learning tool, and eventually they will begin to go through the motions of the day themselves.
Speak Often with Daycare Staff
Having a good rapport will not only be beneficial for you, but will give your child some confidence in the staff. If your child sees you having good conversations with daycare staff, they’re more likely to be able to trust them. You’ll also feel much more at ease knowing that your kiddo is fitting in well. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to staff during the day. They’ll be very understanding that the first few days will be really tough for you as a parent!
Reinforcing Daycare at Home
If your child is having an especially hard time, you can try getting some of the same toys and books that they have at daycare. That way they will feel comforted by the familiarity of certain objects that they often see at home. Alternatively, you can also pack a comfort object in your child’s bag every day so that they will always have a piece of home with them.
Another good idea is to find books about going to daycare or school for the first time. Knowing that they’re not the only ones who are reluctant about daycare may make them more comfortable in their new situation.
The beginning of daycare for your child should hopefully be an enjoying and rewarding experience. We here at The Learning Circle in Kirtland, NM will do everything in our capacity to ensure that your little one has the best experience with us. We are so confident in our program that we even go as far to offer a 30-day guarantee! If at any time in your first 30 days of enrollment you wish to leave and attend another center, we will gladly refund a full week’s tuition.