Having anxiety about starting my 2yr old daycare ... He's very attachted to me and not sure how he will cope? Any advice?
Tamara - posted on 04/03/2012
It is natural to have some anxiety about this and as someone who used to work in long day care, I completely understand.
Have you been to the centre with your child? If not I would take him/ her for a visit to look around. I would also ask if you can stay for a while and play with you there with your child. I know most centers will do all they can to help a new child to settle in. Generally mornings are a good time as children do activities before lunch and there is lots of outside play.
Read some simple stories about going to child care. Just simple simple text and lots of pictures so that you can talk about it with your child.
Go shopping for a day care bag and help your child assist you with choosing a hat and other things they may need.
On their first day, arrive early and spend some time with them to settle them in. What ever you do don't drop and run. Your child at this age has no concept of what the time is so if you say after you wake up from your nap, mummy will come get you.
Be happy and relaxed and positive in your voice. Be prepared for tears from your child as often this happens. Hesitating will escalate the tears so even if they are belting the door down a carer will be there to take care and make sure they are safe etc. Make sure you say bye as sneaking out isn't helpful.
Make sure the centre knows your number to call should they have issues - rarely do they call because the child is distraught, they will go to all measures to calm your child to the point of being settled before this happens. But they welcome calls from parents who just want assurance their child is ok.
Depending on how often your child attends day care, it may take a few weeks to really see them settling properly.
Day care staff are most often highly trained in child development and have been trained to use calming methods and distraction methods in order for a child to calm down. The caregiver who calms them down will often become a favourite. Don't be surprised if your child in time becomes attached to a favorite caregiver. They can do that especially when they are first finding their feet in settling in.
I hope this is really helpful to you. I worked in child care for ten years prior to having my own little people so even though it has been a while, it feels like yesterday.
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