Choosing Quality Child Care
Getting off to a Good Start
When starting a new child care arrangement, try to avoid other major changes in your child's life, if possible. For example, don't begin toilet training or experimenting with new foods at this time. Emphasizing familiar routines and activities will help your child feel secure. Prepare your children for changes in a way that is appropriate to their stage of development. If your child is old enough to understand, even partially, what is going to happen, explain ahead of time that there is going to be a change in your child's routine. Always convey a positive attitude about the change which is going to occur.
Different ages of children have specific needs. Infants and toddlers in particular need time to adjust to a new environment. To ease their transition from home to child care, give the caregiver a written outline of your child's daily routine, likes/dislikes of food, toys, sleep time, cuddling etc. You will probably need to supply food and diapers for your infant or toddler until they are eating table food and are toilet trained.
Preschoolers entering child care for the first time benefit from plenty of warning of the change to come. This age group enjoys the socialization child care can offer. All young children are more prepared if you visit with them, before the start date, for varying periods of time and at different times of the day. This enables children to develop familiarity with the routines and activities and to build confidence and independence when care begins.
Even after your child is settled in child care, continue to monitor your arrangements by making unscheduled visits from time to time. If your commitments make this difficult, perhaps a trusted friend or relative can visit your child at child care occasionally. Be sure to tell your centre or caregiver if other people are permitted to visit or pick up your child.