As a parent, you’ve done all your research. You’ve called different centers, read reviews, asked all the right questions, and even toured different centers to ensure you picked the right one. Although you’re confident in the childcare center you’ve chosen for your child to attend, you might not have considered how difficult it can be for a child to acclimate to big changes in their life, such as starting at a new childcare center or school.
For many children, the first few weeks at a new childcare center can be a time of extreme anxiety. This discomfort can be a lot more pronounced if the child is naturally an introvert and shy or has never been in a similar setting. There are many challenges they’ll face, such as adjusting to being around more children than they usual are, warming up to their teachers, and even becoming comfortable with their new schedule. Parents can help children in this situation by helping them to develop confidence and by familiarizing them with their new school and new routine.
At Educational Playcare, we want everyone to have a feeling of fellowship with others, which is why Community is one of our Core Values. Here are a few tips to help make the transition easier for your children and help them feel like they are a part of the Educational Playcare community:
- Talk with your child about the changes that will be happening. Once you know what center your child will be attending, you’ll be able to talk to them in more detail such as who their teacher will be or what activities they can look forward to doing.
- Visit the center with your child. At Educational Playcare, we love when families bring their children with them to tour our schools so that the whole family can see what we have to offer. We also encourage families to schedule another visit close to their start date, so their child can become familiar with the environment, the teachers, and their peers.
- Read books to your child that feature children going to school. Engage in conversations with your child about different topics that are touched on in the books and ask if your child has any questions or worries when it comes to starting school.
- Once you know which center your family will enroll in, speak with their administration team to get an idea of what your child’s schedule will be like. In the weeks leading up to starting, adjust your schedule to reflect what your child’s schedule will be at school. This will help them when they begin school, especially when it comes to eating snacks and lunch, and taking naps.
- Get to know other families that are also enrolled at your childcare center. At Educational Playcare, we have private Facebook groups available for each of our locations, so that families can connect with one another. Being part of a group like this is a great opportunity for a new family to introduce themselves, meet other families, and even set up play dates so their child can meet new friends they’ll see at school.
What additional advice would you provide families who have children transitioning into a new childcare center?