5 Ways To Make Your Preschooler's Daycare Experience A Success

Education & Development Articles

As a concerned parent, you want your child to reap the benefits of daycare and make the most from this monumental time in his or her life. Assuming you have already enrolled your child in daycare, what can you do to ensure the experience is a positive one? There are several ways to help your child - and his or her daycare provider - in the process. Here's what you should do:

1. Provide a Practical, "Feel Good" Wardrobe

While you may be inclined to overlook this important detail, what your child wears to daycare may make a significant impact on his or her adjustment and success. Because your child will be spending several hours a day at daycare, comfort is imperative. Your child's clothes need to be provide durability for playtime, yet be flexible and made with materials that "breathe."

You'll want to check with the daycare to learn if there is a particular dress code to adhere to. After this detail is out of the way, consider clothing that will allow your child the mobility he or she needs. Also, jackets, sweaters and coats should be easily removed, without complicated closures. Don't choose overalls, as these may be difficult to manipulate for your little one when using the bathroom. Comfy, pull on pants are a good idea for toddlers, and older children should wear clothes that fasten easily.

Of course, you'll want to dress your child according to the weather. If it's a hot day, cotton shorts and a T-shirt should be ideal, and don't forget the sunscreen if your child will be playing outdoors. Conversely, if it's a cool day, a sweatshirt and sweatpants should keep your child warm.

Another rule to remember is to avoid unnecessary accessories such as ribbons, hairpins and headbands. Any of these may become easily lost as your child becomes active and involved in activities. In addition, pack and extra outfit, including extra socks and shoes. This way, if your toddler's clothes become wet or soiled, he or she will have clean clothes to change into.

2. Prepare Your Child for the Experience

If this is a new experience for your child, talk to him or her about what to expect. Rather than explaining in detail, you might want to read a book to him. Check your local library for a story-time reading book designed for your child's age. Read the book aloud and answer any questions your child might have.

3. Establish a Pre-Daycare Routine

What does this actually mean? Simply put, before you drop your child off at the daycare center, stick to a daily routine that helps your child adjust to the transition. This might be reciting your child's favorite poem, saying so-long to a pet, or a routine hug and kiss from Mom and Dad. Structure and routine is important for a child. Whatever it is that provides comfort, be sure to do the same thing each day.

4. Arrange a Play Date With a Daycare Classmate (or Two)

Once your child begins to settle into the daycare routine, consider arranging a play date for your child with one or two others in the class. It might be a day in the park, a fun trip to the zoo or even a simple play date at your home. This will allow your child to make friends, become socialized and not feel all alone when leaving home for daycare each day.

5. All Your Child to Participate in Daycare Shopping for Supplies and Clothing

Plan a shopping trip with your child for daycare supplies, clothing and items your child will need. Pick out the items together and allow your child freedom in making simple choices. This may make him or her feel more involved in the daycare process.

As you can see, there are many ways to help make this transitional period a stable and successful time in your child's life. Project a positive attitude about daycare and allow your child to do the same.


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