Although starting a child in daycare should be a time worthy of celebration, it can often be a stressful event. As a major life transition for both child and parents, daycare is often the first time families experience lengthy separation from each other. This separation is accompanied by a great deal of anxiety which will impact how the event is remembered.
The anxiety can come from both sides of the equation. The child may feel apprehensive when apart from parents that he or she has spent the vast majority of their time with up until this point. And parents are facing a similar issue; having their little one not under their direct care, as well as trying to regain control in their lives. Parents may be anxious knowing they must return to their careers, but may feel guilt for having to turn to daycare services earlier than they would have liked to.
There are many ways that dealing with separation anxiety in children can be addressed in order to make the transition to daycare easier. Here are some ways that you can make that transition easier:
1. Book in a Tour of the Child Care Centre
Once you have selected a daycare provider, take your child on a visit to the facility. Introduce him or her to the child care centre caregivers, show them the precise location of where the daycare activities will take place and tour the entire site. Make your child feel comfortable in these new surroundings and it will make the transition easier.
Something as basic as knowing where the bathroom is or where there personal belongings are to go may remove a great deal of the anxiety your child feels. Scheduling another visit just before the daycare commencement begins will also help. The more comfortable that both parents and children are, the better the whole experience will become.
To book in for a tour of Cubby College, click here.
2. Increase Separation Time
An effective way in dealing with separation anxiety in toddlers at daycare is to work on being apart over a period of time. As you will know quite some time prior to starting, you should have some time in advance to work on introducing separation into your child’s life.
This is an excellent way to teach your child that there will be times when you are not always available. It is also a great teaching tool that could lead to early development of a state of independence. The goal is to have your child comfortable in being apart from parents by the time daycare enters the picture.
3. Work on a Parting Routine
Separation anxiety at daycare can be relieved if you are able to stick to short good-byes when dropping your child off with their child care centre staff. Your child needs to be reassured that you will return, but only at the end of the daycare day. Provided you stick to this promise, your child will develop trust and will look forward to your return.
For some parents this is a difficult step to navigate. Even though you have found a loving, caring and comfortable daycare provider, it is as scary for you as it is for your child to be apart. By developing a simple parting routine that is short and loving, it will put both yours and your child’s minds at ease.
4. Provide A Comfort Object
If your child has a favourite toy or object, there is nothing wrong with allowing them to keep it with them during daycare. That is, provided it is not something that distracts them from the caregiver and the daycare program. For example, a blankie, teddy or something of familiarity will comfort your child.
Separation Anxiety In Children Is Normal
It is important to recognize that separation anxiety in children is a normal stage in their development. They have been raised in the protective comfort of home with their parents and daycare will remove some of that protective shield they have grown accustomed to.
By working with both your child and the Child Care Centre Educators, you will be able to cope with the feelings of separation. The suggestions listed here are meant to help you just as much as they are to assist your child. By implementing these steps early, both you and your child will benefit.
Naturally, at Cubby College Child Care Centre in Concord, we want to make the transition as easy as possible for everyone involved. So if you have any questions or concerns about starting your child in daycare, then please contact us.