Many working parents worry about how their child will adjust to the transition from homecare to out of home childcare. Most infants under the age of 7 months adjust well to the switch, however infants over 7 months may get upset when left with people they do not know. This means they will need extra time and support to ensure that the transition is as smooth and stress-free as possible. As with any new experience, preparation can make it a lot easier on your child. Here are a few things you can do to prepare your child for childcare:
- Visit the home or center before your child’s first day; show them around, and interact with the staff. It is important for your child to see that you trust and like the people there.
- Check with the caregiver or center to see what time of year is the best time for your child to start attending.
- Allow your child to bring something from home to comfort them; a stuffed animal, a picture, or a small toy can be very helpful.
- If your child is old enough, speak to them ahead of time about the childcare center and providers. Answer any questions they have, and reassure them as much as possible.
Some children find a sudden change in childcare very unsettling; arranging a meeting with caregiver ahead of time, and asking your doctor for advice on how to handle the transition may be helpful to you. It is important that you as the parent do everything you can to make the transition as smooth as possible for your child, and the caregiver.