Preparing for Daycare: Four Tips for Success from the Team at Discovery Point
Your child’s first day at preschool or daycare can be an exciting event. Preparing for the big day, however, can require weeks or months of planning to ensure the highest degree of readiness. Here are four tips to help you and your toddler get the most from the much-anticipated first day of daycare or preschool.
Schedule a Dress Rehearsal
A trip to your daycare center can help your toddler acclimate to his or her new surroundings and can give some clues about areas to work on before the big day. By observing the structure provided for children in your chosen school or daycare center, you can help to enforce similar rules and schedules at home during the lead-up to your child’s first day in this new environment. Practicing for the first day of school by engaging in pretend play and acting out the various roles of teacher, students and parents can also provide your child with added confidence in his or her ability to adjust to the new learning environment.
Take Your Time
Some children adapt almost immediately to changes in schedule or to new surroundings; others take a bit longer to warm up and feel comfortable in unfamiliar areas. Allowing some extra time for drop-off on the first day of school, however, can reduce stress on you and your child and can provide you with a more gradual transition from the home environment to the daycare or preschool setting. By adopting a relaxed attitude on his or her first day, you can communicate a sense of confidence and safety to your child that can set the right tone for future activities.
Provide a Little Taste of Home
If your preschool-aged child has a favorite toy or blanket, it may be worthwhile to bring this item along to help ease the transition into the more structured world of organized daycare. Be sure to discuss the ground rules with preschool or daycare staff to ensure that these items are allowed. Avoid bringing snacks for your child, however. Most child care centers are set up to accommodate specific food allergies or sensitivities and forbid the introduction of foods from home that could potentially provoke an allergic response in other children at the site.
Work on Practical Skills
During the weeks before your child begins attending daycare or preschool, work with him or her on basic skills that can include some or all of the following:
- Tying shoes
- Singing songs alone or with others
- Zipping up jackets and other clothes
- Putting on backpacks and hanging them on hooks
- Listening quietly during story time
- Holding crayons or pencils correctly
At Discovery Point, our caring and experienced teaching staff members specialize in helping your little one adjust smoothly to a more structured environment. Our focus on early childhood education ensures that your child receives the personalized attention he or she needs to develop the skills necessary for success in the academic field. We also provide plenty of free time for engaging in play and exercising young imaginations to make every day an adventure in fun and learning for your child.