Discover & learn

Your Child’s First Day At Childcare

Having a plan and routine ahead of your child’s first day of childcare is important to ensure a smooth transition for both you and your child. Anna McCauley, Head of Health at Only About Children shares 6 tips on how to effectively prepare for that first day!
Your Child’s First Day At Childcare Your Child’s First Day At Childcare

 

1. How are you feeling?

It is common for parents to feel a mix of emotions ahead of their child’s first day at childcare. Parents should check in with how they are feeling ahead of this milestone and speak with other parents. Be mindful of how you talk about your feelings when your child is nearby. Your child will observe your own feelings and emotions. It is helpful for your child to hear you speaking confidently and being calm.


2. Learn through reading

Books and illustrations are a wonderful way for children to learn about and understand new experiences, especially those that may feel overwhelming. Try ‘The Invisible String’, this story teaches children how they can be connected with loved ones even when they are apart or ‘Llama Llama Misses Mama’ about a llama’s experience starting preschool.


3. Get packing

Children feel in control when they are involved in a situation. Take your child to buy their backpack, hat and water bottle. Let them pack their backpack the night before and choose what spare pair of clothes they would like to take on their first day.


4. Know your childcare

Spend time visiting your child’s childcare. This will give you and your child time to build familiarity and a relationship with their educators and adjust to the physical environment.
Talk with your child’s educators about your child’s home routine across a typical day. Include their preferences and favourite activities, sleep schedule and any specific needs that they might have.


5. Repetition and predictability are key

In times of change, most children need a predictable routine to feel safe and at ease. It is important that you think through how you are going to drop off and pick up your child with as much consistency as your schedule allows. If your schedule varies a lot over the week, and other family members or friends are helping with drop offs and pickups, a schedule on the fridge may help children to feel reassured. Adding a photo, of who will be responsible for your child during these times, can help.


6. Quick goodbyes are best

It is natural for a child to feel upset when they are separated from you, but a drawn-out goodbye will only prolong their distress. We recommend a brief goodbye to allow educators to quickly engage with your child in an activity to calm them – you can always call the childcare later to understand how your child settled after you left.

 

For more interesting reading, click through to our stories on:

Separation Anxiety in Children and Parents

Importance of Safe Play Practices

A Respectful Curriculum

“We Need To Be Honest About What Childcare Really Is”


Learn more about why Only About Children is More Than Childcare.

Discover how Only About Children supports your child's development.

Discover & learn

Only About Children can help your child to grow, make friends and explore the world.

Only About Children can help your child to grow, make friends and explore the world.

Related Reads

MasterChef Tommy Pham's Korean Jeon
MasterChef Tommy Pham's Korean Jeon MasterChef Tommy Pham's Korean Jeon
Health & Nutrition

MasterChef Tommy Pham's Korean Jeon

Our Food Ambassador, MasterChef Tommy Pham, shares a great family recipe - Korean Jeon, aka crispy, savoury, vegetable fritters!
Tackling Unhealthy Thinking Habits in Young Children - Negative Thinking
Tackling Unhealthy Thinking Habits in Young Children - Negative Thinking Tackling Unhealthy Thinking Habits in Young Children - Negative Thinking
Wellbeing

Tackling Unhealthy Thinking Habits in Young Children - Negative Thinking

Dr Kaylene Henderson, Child Psychiatrist and Only About Children Parenting Expert explores the topic of negative thinking in our little ones.
Tackling Unhealthy Thinking Habits in Young Children - Perfectionism
Tackling Unhealthy Thinking Habits in Young Children - Perfectionism Tackling Unhealthy Thinking Habits in Young Children - Perfectionism
Wellbeing

Tackling Unhealthy Thinking Habits in Young Children - Perfectionism

Dr Kaylene Henderson, Child Psychiatrist and Only About Children Parenting Expert explores the topic of tackling perfectionism in our little ones.