Helping Your Child Transition to New Childcare

Posted on December 11, 2018 : Posted in Early Child Care, Legacy Academy

When it is time for your child to move from one childcare center to another, or even to a new classroom, it is important to prepare everyone involved. Children are often very sensitive to change and aren’t yet able to express their concerns with words. Giving them the tools to deal with the change helps them feel more secure and prepared. Here are five ways you can assist your child as he or she transitions to a new childcare situation.

Acknowledge Your Own Feelings About the Change

Sometimes the best thing we can do to help our children is honestly confront things that are difficult. Do you feel anxious, worried, or unsure about the change? Acknowledging those feelings will help you accept them and be more available to assist your child’s transition. Or perhaps you are feeling nostalgic that your little one is growing up. Honoring those sweet parental moments is a healthy way to move forward to bigger and better things.

Talk About It a Lot

One of the best ways to prepare a child for a change is to bring it up at neutral times. When you are driving in the car, eating a meal, or saying goodnight, simply say something like, “In a few weeks, it will be time for you to go to a new place while I go to work. There will be lots of new friends there, and you will have so much fun.” No more information than that is necessary since small children typically cannot yet understand lengths of time and it could confuse them. If you bring up the change a couple of times a week, you help your child get used to the idea and make the transition easier.

Visit if You Can

Taking your child to the new childcare center before her first day can greatly benefit both of you. She can see and experience a taste of what life will be like there, while you can meet the teachers, see the new space, and help your child feel safe. If you drive past the new location regularly, even just pointing at it out the car window on occasion can help your child feel some ownership before the official transition. If you are not able to visit the new location before her first day, it may help your child to visit the childcare website together to view photos or watch the introductory video. Anything that will help the new childcare situation feel more familiar is helpful.

Confirm All the Details

Before you begin taking your child to the new location, be sure you have all the details ironed out. Who will be taking your child and picking them up? Are there any rules, regulations, or requirements that are different from your past situation? Be sure that the new school has all the information they require, like your doctor’s information, phone numbers, emergency contacts, etc. Also, inform anyone who relies on you throughout the day (supervisors and co-workers) that you may need to be more available during the transition. By getting all the details accomplished beforehand, you can focus on your child and his needs when the actual transition comes.

Prepare to Give Whatever Support They Need

Children are all different and respond to change in their own unique ways. There’s no way to predict how your child will react to transitioning to new childcare. But you can prepare to offer kind and understanding support regardless of how your child responds. If you enter the situation expecting to have some rough days, you may be pleasantly surprised by how well your child adapts. At the same time, it is wise to make space for more difficult behaviors and challenges, in case your child requires more time and encouragement from you.

A new childcare situation is exciting. It means new potential and relationships. It can also be stressful as you and your child adapt to the expectations and routine that the new classroom includes. Taking the time to be aware of these challenges and be present with your child will go a long way toward making the transition smooth and easy. Looking for new childcare? Consider entrusting your child to Legacy Academy. Our staff pursues excellence in all they do and works hard to help all children become the best versions of themselves.