For many, young and old, a new year brings with it change. It may be a new mum heading back to work, a young child moving up rooms at daycare, a 4-year-old entering the world of schooling, new year classes, new teachers, the transition to high school, the transition into the working world!
For me, it will bring change for both of my little people moving up rooms and a new class for me. I see the transition from both sides.
From a mothers point of view, I worry about them settling with someone new, a whole set of new carers, new routines but ultimately know that they will settle back into their routine, enjoy their days and bond with their new carers. I’m excited to watch them learn, grow and develop new skills, as I always have been.
From a teacher’s point of view, it’s about reassuring parents that I will take exceptional care of their children, they will be safe, they will settle and when all of that happens, they will be open and ready for learning.
I wanted to share some tips for parents who may be using childcare for the first time this year.
- Try and remain calm.
Inside you will experience a myriad of emotions, mostly guilt and worry. People use childcare for all sorts of reasons and that’s ok, it’s what it is there for. We become part of your village. Children feed off the emotions of you, so try and remain calm, talk about the transition positively and acknowledge any worries they may have.
The more information you share with your child’s carers, the easier the transition may be. Don’t be afraid to write all the idiosyncrasies of your child down and share them with the carer. From how they sleep, to snuggleys, to music they usually go to sleep with, from what they eat/don’t eat and anything you feel they would need to know. Usually, carers will ask all of this anyway but I find the extra information allows carers to bond quicker and create a smooth transition between home and care.
- The phone is your new best friend.
In the early days, do not be afraid to phone the centre and check-in. I phoned every day for quite a while when my baby started, it was more as reassurance for me!!
Try and establish a drop off routine that your child becomes comfortable with. Whether it is waving at the window, a kiss and cuddle, hat and sun cream on and outside and then a wave goodbye. My eldest child needs to have a slide and a big kiss goodbye, she has a little (pretend) cry and off she goes for the day! It’s now become more of a noise she has to make!!
Building a relationship with your child’s carers is vital, especially the exchanging of information. Ultimately, you want to be able to discuss concerns, share information, share how they are at home/care and ask each other questions and celebrate the child’s growth and learning!
Soon enough it will be your family’s normal and everyone will be settled.
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