Daycare is a major step towards independence for your toddler. However, if you haven't taken the steps to prepare your child for the transition, the experience can also be stressful; not just for them, but for you and the daycare staff as well. If your toddler will be starting daycare soon, now's the time to take some preparatory steps. The steps provided below will help you get your toddler ready for daycare.
Start Them Early
If your toddler has spent the bulk of their early years at home with you, it's best to start them early. This is a particularly important step if you'll be returning to work. You don't want your first day back to work to be filled with daycare-related stress. As soon as you have a start date for work, start your toddler in daycare. That way, you can have some time to get your toddler used to the new routine before the official day you have to go back to work.
Practice With a Routine
If you want to keep your toddler at home for as long as possible, ask the daycare center for a copy of their daily routine, including playtime, naptime, and snack time. Once you have that schedule, implement it at home. Implementing the daycare schedule will help your toddler prepare for the transition from home care to daycare.
Teach to Follow Instructions
If your toddler hasn't started following instructions yet, now's the time to start working on that. Daycare centers provide children with structured activities; many that require following instructions. If your toddler hasn't learned to follow instructions yet, they may be stressed out by the changes. They may also have a difficult time participating in some of the daycare activities. Before your toddler begins daycare, teach them how to follow simple instructions.
Work on the Potty-Training
If you haven't started potty-training your toddler yet, it's a good idea to do that before they begin daycare. Being potty-trained prior to the start of daycare will provide your toddler with greater independence. Not only that, but it will ensure that your toddler has a stress-free potty-training experience. It's also important to note that some daycare centers require toddlers to be potty-trained prior to entry into the program.
If you're heading back to work, and your toddler will be entering daycare, use the tips provided here to ensure a stress-free experience. For other tips on how to help your toddler adjust to the changes, talk to your daycare provider. They can help you with the transition.