Statistics show that almost one-quarter of children under the age of five are enrolled in some kind of child care service. These services include those provided at centers like daycares, preschools, and nurseries.
While these services are vital for many families, getting your child to feel comfortable there while you’re away at work can be a challenge. Children may act out, throw tantrums, or cry while under someone else’s watch.
However, the good news is that children are resilient and highly adaptable. Continue reading to learn more about how to acclimate your child to a new child care center in a few manageable ways. With some patience, you’ll reduce the number of those drop-off meltdowns in no time.
Remember Consistency is Key
Children are creatures of habit. The more they become accustomed to a certain routine, the more comfortable they will feel. Make sure to keep every other part of their everyday routine consistent, from their wakeup time to their breakfast time. If the rest of their day feels familiar and comforting, they’ll have an easier time adjusting.
Rely on Comforting Music
If your child enjoys music, try playing their favorite tunes on the way to the daycare center. This method should put them in a good mood and make your departure that much easier on them. Singing along can allow you and your child to strengthen your bonds, too.
Be Forthcoming and Concise
Walking or sneaking out of the center without saying goodbye bye to your child first may cause anxiety and distrust. Always be open and honest with your child. Tell them what to expect before dropping them off at preschool or daycare, to prevent any major meltdowns. That said, you shouldn’t prolong your goodbyes. Make this routine quick and consistent for best results.
Perform Some Practice Runs
Try a couple of practice sessions before officially starting your new routine. It may be helpful to schedule a couple of visits to allow your child to explore the facility and get to know the staff. They may need you to hold their hand through this new and transitional period.
Pack Their Favorite Snack
Talk to your daycare center or childcare service about leaving your child with their favorite snack. Try to implement little things they can look forward to throughout the day, even if it’s something as simple as animal crackers or gummy fruit snacks.
Try Not to Push Too Hard
Just like adults, children have their limits. Try your best to understand their boundaries. Getting accustomed to a new daycare center or preschool can take time. In most cases, your child will be used to their new routine in about a month. But do not be too surprised if it takes longer. Set realistic goals and understand that there will be good days and bad days.
Keep the Benefits in Mind
If you ever start to doubt your need for these services, make sure to remember the benefits of enrolling your child in daycare. A child care service center allows your child to thrive by vastly improving their social skills by helping them make great friends.
A final word on child care services
Putting a stop to those drop-off meltdowns is possible if you follow the right steps. However, keep in mind that time and patience are also important. Finding the perfect daycare center is another equally crucial element. Take your time and visit multiple centers. When you find the perfect fit for you and your child, it will make this entire process so much easier.