Choosing Childcare Thoughtfully

Preparing Your Kid For Child Care And Preschool

by Erik Reyes

One of the biggest early steps for a kid is going to child care and eventually to preschool. Children often take some time to adapt, but there are a few things you can do to ease them into the experience. Let's look at 6 ways you can help your kiddo get started.

Play Act School in Advance

Introducing your child to the basic ideas before they go there can be helpful. This includes working through the dynamics of paying attention and listening to the teacher's instruction. While you don't have to maximize the realism of play-acted interactions, you do want your kid to get the idea that child care and school are a thing. Throw in snack time because kids usually respond well to the lunchtime part of the deal. With a little luck, preparing for the experience will increase your kid's enthusiasm.

Stop in at the Location

Take your child to the place and check it out. Ask the staff when a good time would be to come by. Bring your child's backpack and have them bring a few personal items, too. Do a simple walkthrough of a day there so they get an idea of how things are structured and what will be expected of them.

Incorporate School-Themed Books

You're going to be reading your child something so why not work in a few books about the school experience. Stick with books that have lots of colorful pictures, have small numbers of characters, and are appropriate for your kid's comprehension level.

Get the Sleep Schedule Nailed Down

A few weeks before your kid starts going, make sure you work on their sleep schedule. Try to figure out a bedtime that will have them ready to tackle their day. Work in a breakfast routine so your child starts to develop an idea of getting started in the morning. This will help them develop a rhythm that can last into adulthood.

Meet and Get to Know the Staff

These people are going to be with your kid as much as any non-family member. It's a good idea to meet with them, familiarize yourself with the team's philosophy, and just have a good chat about dealing with children.

Stick Around a Bit on Day One

Being around for 20 minutes or so on day one is a good idea. Even if your kid doesn't cry about being at school, it can be helpful to ease them in.

For more tips, contact your local preschool or child care center.