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How to Prepare Your Child for Daycare

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For some families, work and life requirements dictate when the youngest member of the family starts daycare. For others, a parent is at home or has flexible work hours, but childcare becomes appealing for its ability to introduce children to a wide range of environments and activities, as well as other kids and adults. No matter when or why you decide to start, there are things you can do to ease the transition for your little one.

The teams at Scribbles Childcare centre in Mt Roskill and Mt Wellington and have put together our top tips to prepare your youngster for day care.

Build Independence

Preparing for pre-school is the perfect time to work on building independence with your child. For kids aged 3 and 4, being able to choose their own activity without needing to be directed by an adult is a step in the right direction. If your child isn’t there yet, start encouraging this for short stints each day and gradually increase them.

For babies and infants, independence looks quite different. Mobility and non-verbal communication varies a lot at this age, but the ability to be left alone for brief moments is a good indicator of a strong sense of self and early independence.

Time Apart

Separation anxiety is a normal phase that many pre-school-aged children go through at one point or another. If your child hasn’t spent much time away from you, it’s a good idea to try leaving them with a close friend or relative a few times before trying it out at daycare. Start with short time frames, like an hour or two, and work your way up to a length that you feel comfortable with.

Social Interactions

The benefit of siblings, cousins and programmes in Auckland like Playcentre and Space is that children learn about social interaction at a very young age. Childcare centres are filled with children – they are fun and exciting, but it can be a shock to the system for a child who is not used to spending time around others their own age. Try some play dates with other youngsters or join a Mum’s group for regular catch ups with other Mums and bubs.

Keep a Regular Schedule

Having a regular nap and feeding schedule certainly helps with the transition to childcare. Daycare centres often follow predictable routines with set times for play and snacks, naps and meals. Kids adapt quickly, so don’t stress if you have no schedule at home, but you could try to introduce loose routines to get them prepared.

Do a Day Care Visit

Pop into Scribbles Childcare for a visit with your child. This is a wonderful way for you to see the excellent facilities and warm teachers, and it’s a great slow introduction to the new space for your little one. We have two locations in Auckland – Mt Roskill and Mt Wellington – join the one that is closest to home or fits best with your commute to work.