By Cara Johnson-Bader
The first day of childcare is a big milestone for both you and your child. You may feel excited and nervous, and so may your little one. Preparation is the key to a smooth transition for both of you. Here are a few tips from the teachers at New Horizon Academy to help you ease into a new routine.
Before Your Child’s First Day
Determine what to bring. Connect with your childcare provider to help determine what to bring for your child’s first day. They will have a detailed list to help you and your child have a successful first day.
Label everything. We recommend labeling everything: clothing, pacifier, toothbrush, and any other items you bring for your child. This will help ensure your child’s items are not misplaced.
Talk about the new routine. Take a moment to talk about and explain the new routine for you and your child. Keep your conversation light and happy, answer questions, and help your child understand the new routine. The more prepared you are, the better the first day will go.
On Your Child’s First Day
Allow extra time. This is new for both you and your child, so allowing a little extra time will help reduce the need to rush, and drop-off may take a little longer than usual on the first day. Planning for extra time will help create a smoother transition.
Communicate a plan. Even though your child may not be able to tell time, it is important to let your him know exactly when you will pick him up. This will help create a smooth transition, too.
Hug and go. It is natural to want to spend extra time during drop-off, but lingering in the classroom may cause it to take more time for your child to adjust to her new environment. Childcare teachers are well prepared to comfort, support, and help your child adjust to her new routine.
During Your Child’s First Day
Stay connected. Call throughout the day and check in during drop-off and pick-up. Feel free to reach out and ask questions, too. Teachers and directors want to create a smooth transition for both you and your child.
This transition milestone is just the first of many in your child’s life. With a little preparation, you will create a smooth experience for both of you, as you navigate this new journey.
Cara Johnson-Bader is the Vice President of Marketing and Parent Experiences at New Horizon Academy and mother of two young boys. Learn more about New Horizon Academy at newhorizonacademy.net.