For many parents, there aren’t many morning challenges quite like dropping off their young child at a local daycare, especially if it’s for the very first time. The first day of daycare, or returning after spending time in school or at home, can be difficult for younger children and chaotic for their parents. Although many children often feel excited about going to daycare, those feelings are usually followed by crying, screaming, clinging, and even begging when it comes to dropping them off at daycare.
Leaving a child with a look of despair behind at a daycare center can be painful for any parent. What’s more, parents will often worry about their child’s happiness and well being throughout the day, causing them to feel anxious, especially when they have to drop-off their child again tomorrow! Luckily for parents, there are easy ways to make daycare drop-off easier and tear-free. At A World of Discoveries daycare in Columbia, MO, we understand that daycare drop off can be tough for both children and their parents. However, with just a little patience and consistency, you can ensure that your child will quickly adjust to the transition of going to daycare. While some children will handle daycare drop-offs with more emotion than others, these tips will make the process of dropping your child off at daycare centers easier for anyone.
The best way for parents to prepare their children for daycare is to talk about their day ahead of time. Although you may get some silly responses, ask them how they feel about going to daycare and what they think about the teachers, classmates, and activities. In addition, be sure to prepare the night before daycare; set out clothes, prepare lunches, and ensure your child goes to bed early to get plenty of rest. Once the time to leave for daycare comes, take the time during the commute to talk about the expectations with the drop-off and pick-up process, the routine at daycare, and communicating that you will be back to pick them up. By encouraging your child and discussing the day daycare can help children feel more comfortable when they are dropped off.
Whether it is your child’s very first time at a daycare center, or they are returning after being away for a while, easing them into the transition can be very helpful. If possible, make your child’s first day of daycare only for a few hours or half of a day instead of jumping into a full week. And, if time allows, quickly drop by the daycare with your child for quick visits a few weeks prior to their first day. When the time finally comes to drop them off on their first day, ask a caregiver or teacher that your child is more familiar with to greet them so that they feel more comfortable.
Get Them Involved In An Activity
Engaging in a fun activity after arriving at daycare can help children feel more comfortable when their parents leave. While fun activities are a good distraction, you should still take time to quickly say goodbye to your child and let them know that you are leaving — they might be so engaged that the news won’t even phase them! If your child notices that you have left without saying goodbye, they will be more likely to throw a fit than they would if you quickly let them know you were leaving and would be back soon to pick them up.
Trust The Staff
Along with the programs, activities, and policies, the staff is likely one of the reasons why you choose your child’s daycare center. The staff at the daycare are not only qualified to work with young children, but they can also provide the loving care and comfort for your child while you are away. Although there may be a few tears and tantrums every now and again, remember that you’re not abandoning your child or leaving them with just anyone; your child is in good, caring hands.
Bring A Comfort Item From Home
Iy your young child struggles with going to daycare, consider bringing one of their favorite toys from home. When mom and dad aren’t available to provide comfort, bringing something from home can help. Something as simple as a cherished doll, stuffed animal, or small blanket can the drop-off and leaving process easier. And, after a while, they may not even need to bring anything along anymore!
Keep Drop-Offs Brief
It can be hard to leave a child that is screaming and crying, but waiting around until they calm down could delay your entire day! Waiting around for your child to calm down will send the message that this behavior is okay and you have the time to spend making sure they’ve settled in and are comfortable. When dropping your child off at a daycare nearby, don’t stick around. Instead, the process needs to be brief. Again, trust the staff and caregivers who can provide your child with care and comfort after you have given your final hugs, kisses, and goodbyes.
Don’t Be Afraid To Check-In
For parents, leaving a child at daycare can be difficult. Seeing a crying and yelling child is enough to break any parent’s heart. The daycare staff are very understanding of you and your child, so don’t be afraid to ask them for quick updates once the child has calmed down. When pick-up time comes, ask the staff members how your child did the rest of the day. Work with them and ask questions to determine the progress of drop-offs like:
- How long did it take them to calm down after drop-off?
- What does my child enjoy doing at daycare? Is there an activity or area they usually gravitate towards first so you can steer him in that direction during drop-off?
- Do they have a friend they enjoy playing with?
Consistency is key to a successful transition into daycare drop-off. Going to daycare on a regular basis will help your child adapt to a new environment and can teach them how to work through negative and anxious feelings. Developing and maintaining a consistent daycare drop off routine will make the entire process easier for both you and your child.
With preparation, patience, and consistency, dropping your child off at daycare will become easier and there will be less tears. Who knows, they may even eventually rush inside to play with their friends. Of course, there will always be mornings that are more of a struggle, but by using these tactics, you can prevent meltdowns and tantrums before they escalate.
Do You Need A Columbia, MO Daycare?
If you are searching for daycare centers in Columbia, MO look no further than A World Of Discoveries! Our daycare offers comfort and a home-like atmosphere that you would find at an in-home daycare, which also helps children feel more comfortable. Plus, unlike other child care centers in Columbia, we offer affordable child day care services. To learn more about child care enrollment, contact us today!