7 tips to get you through the first few days of childcare

Found an Auckland childcare that’s perfect for your child? Now the harder part – settling your child into the routine. Here are some tips from a wisened parent of daycare-going children to help you – and your child – get by.

  1. Get organised early. Avoid last minute stress by getting things ready for the morning the night before. Many Auckland childcares provide lunches, but if you’ve chosen one that doesn’t, pack the lunch box in the night. Think of doing a batch of healthy baking in the week to put into the lunch box.
  2. Read stories about childcare.Prepare your child by reading stories about going to daycare.
  3. Spend time at the centre. In the weeks leading up to joining your chosen Auckland childcare, go into the centre regularly with your child. Perhaps spend half an hour at the start or end of the day so your child becomes familiar with the environment, educators and kids.
  4. Transition object.Take an object from home that helps your child feel safe. This could be a preferred teddy or a toy car. On mornings that you feel your child is particularly fragile, perhaps allow something special to show to the other children and the educators. A transition object gives your child something positive to focus on the drive to your chosen Auckland childcare.
  5. Put your child in control. A slightly older toddler or pre-schooler will enjoy if they’re in charge (at least in part). By being in control in the mornings, they’re better able to manage things they can’t control – i.e. going to childcare.
  6. Walk away.Don’t look back. One last look. One last hug … dragging the goodbye could just make separation longer and more painful. Say a quick (but warm) goodbye. If you’re worried, go to the car and reassure yourself by calling the educator – in the Auckland childcare.
  7. Communicate & spend quality time.Children trust those whom you trust. At the time of pick-up or drop-off, spend time with the educators. As them how your child’s day went, what they did and what they enjoyed. Make up to the time spent in the Auckland childcare by allowing for more quality time at home. Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding before and after childcare can be a good way to connect. You might also be able to build special time into your evening routine, with songs and play at bath time, or cuddles and stories at bedtime. Or plan for relaxed family time together on the weekends – for example, a regular play at the park.

Starting out at your new Auckland childcare will be a huge adjustment, both for your child and you. No matter what you do, it will likely be a bumpy road for a little while. Taking some time to prepare your child ahead of time, though, will help you both feel a little more comfortable with all of the changes to come.

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