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Getting ready for daycare: Expert tips for preparing your child

It is found in the research that the first three years of a child’s life are the most important years for setting up a strong foundation of learning. It is the time when they learn social, language and motor skills. This is the right age when the child should be sent to day care. A daycare centre offers a perfect environment for the child to interact with new people, explore and learn new things. But it is easier said than done. As the child is still very young and needs constant attention, also it may cause separation anxiety in many kids. You must choose the day care centre carefully before sending our kids there. 

Important things to keep in mind before choosing the right daycare for your child:-

  • Whether the daycare is licenced or not
  • What kind of safety measures do they take
  • How clean is the place 
  • What is the child-teacher ratio
  • How qualified teachers are

Once we zero in on the daycare centre, you should start training your kid to go to the daycare centres and settle well. Here are a few tips on how we can do that-

Visit daycare centre

Visit the daycare centre with your child before the first day to get him to know the environment. Meet teachers and caregivers, and take photos of the route to the centre and the room where the child will spend the day. These photos can be assembled in a book, which you can use to talk to make your child familiar with the day care centres.

Talk to your child

It is the first time your child will be leaving the home. You need to sit him down and explain in the child’s way that he will be going to a new exciting place where they will meet many new kids and that teachers will teach him to learn a few things. How will the child have fun and return home at the end of the day.

Build a rapport with the teacher/caregiver

Children form their opinion based on their parents’ reactions. Make it a point to talk to the teacher/caregiver everyday so that your child starts trusting him/her. Caregivers at a quality day care see parents as partners and will want to develop a strong relationship with you, your child’s first and most important teacher.

Let the caregiver know about your child

Tell the caregiver at day care about the likes-dislikes of your child, food habits, and any allergies or ailment that needs to be taken care of. What upsets the child and makes him happy. It would be helpful for your child and the caregiver both. 

Set a routine

There should be a set routine for the child to go to daycare. Following a fixed pattern reduces the child’s anxiety and inculcates a habit of discipline. 

It would be best if you too, prepared yourself as you will hand over your child to someone else for the first time. You may face separation anxiety as well but focus on the fun and exposure your child will have, and she/he will become independent.