Starting to attend day care in Branford or Wallingford, Connecticut is an exciting time for most families; both for adults and for your children, but it can also feel a little daunting, especially if this is your first child or your first-time using childcare. We’ve put together some top tips for families starting with us at See Us Grow Childcare and Learning Center in Branford or Wallingford.
Come and visit us!
Hopefully you have had the chance to come and visit the learning center your little one will attend and have had a look around as part of your research into different childcare options. Many parents tell us that they have chosen See Us Grow Childcare based on having visited and got a good feeling about the place. If you’re new to the area, or for whatever reason haven’t managed to look around then it’s a good idea to arrange to do so. Give us a call and we can help set up a “visit”
Feel free to bring your child with you so that they can see their new daycare too, as even very young children can benefit from this. The idea of visits is to give your child (and yourself!) something more concrete to imagine as you look forward to starting with us. Much of the anxiety parents and children feel around starting new childcare is just fear of the unknown, so spending time in the setting beforehand will give your child some clear expectations to focus on.
Talk about us!
Talking to your child about starting at See Us Grow Childcare and Learning Center is a great way to build more concrete expectations of what daycare will be like. Try to keep it light-hearted and part of everyday conversation. For younger, less verbal children, try looking through some of the photographs on our website together and for older children, build into conversation that feeling nervous is totally normal, and offer space for your child to express their worries in their own words, and talk them through rather than shutting them down with “You’ll be okay!” or similar. There are also plenty of children’s story books about starting preschool or daycare, and sharing stories is a great way to prepare your child.
There is plenty of practical preparation that goes along with starting daycare, and the more involved your child feels the more positive they are likely to feel about starting so try to make them part of the process.
One very practical thing you can do to prepare is to label absolutely everything with your child’s name! Please have this include bottles, cups, pacifiers, comfort toys. Stickers that can go through the dishwasher or washing machine are great, and your child can help to place them. If you can try to use your child’s first and last names this will help staff immensely as it’s not unusual to have 2 Hannah’s or 2 Jacob’s in the same program. Of course, to your child their special comforter is totally unique but we often find that children have similar, or even identical, comfort toys so it may be worth checking the store, or even eBay, to see if you can find a back-up comforter, just in case of mix ups!
Practice your routine
For younger babies we will endeavour to to keep your child in the same routine that they have at home, but our programs for older toddlers and pre-schoolers do have their own routine and rhythm to the day.
On a practical level, daycare tends to begin early, and sometimes finishes late dependent on your booking pattern and childcare needs. If you’ve been on maternity leave or had the children at home during the peak of the pandemic, it may be that you’ve slipped into a routine of late nights and lie-ins. Going back to work in the office can be a hard transition for adults, so we can expect an adjustment period for children to. To help minimise this, perhaps you could give your family a few weeks to adjust to a new schedule by winding back bedtime by 15 minutes every few days until you’re where you need to be.
We hope that you find these tips helpful as you prepare to start daycare in Branford or Wallingford, Connecticut with See Us Grow. Please do let us know anything else that you found helpful for getting your child settled with us!