New center directors – help!?

New center directors - help!?

Dear Dr. Day Care,

My three-year-old is at a small day care.  We toured many centers to find the best fit, and decided on our current center because we felt the best connection with the teachers there.  Recently, the Director of the center left.  The new Director seems very nice, but do you have any advice on how we should handle the transition?  I am so nervous!

Signed, Change is in the air


Dear Change,

It can be tough when there are changes for children.  But this is a great opportunity for teachable moments!

Build social-emotional skills by teaching empathy and building relationships.  The first thing I would recommend is focusing your energy on making the new Director feel welcome. Explain to your son that she is new and does not know anyone.  Ask him for suggestions on how to make someone feel welcome. Work together to choose or make a small gift for the new Director – even something simple like a handmade card would be appreciated! New center directors - help!?

If your center holds any family events, I would recommend attending them. Events are a great way to build relationships with teachers, directors, and families in the center.  If there are no events scheduled at the moment, ask if you can visit the classroom to read a book.  Ask to schedule a meeting with the Director.  Child care centers are usually excited to have parents involved in the program!

Be sure your son does not pick up on any feelings of concern or nervousness you may be feeling about this change.  Young children at this age are typically quite resilient to change!  But if they sense that mom or dad are worried, they will often also become worried.  Try to ensure you are speaking positively about the new Director and the child care center.

Additionally, you mentioned in your question that your son’s child care center is small.  You may want to ask the Director if there will be changes to the child care center’s policies or procedures.  These may impact you as a parent, so it is important to ask during this transition.



Mary Ann Shallcross Smith President Dr. Day Care
Dr. Mary Ann Shallcross Smith
Founder, Dr. Day Care


“Dr. Day Care” is Mary Ann Shallcross Smith, Ed.D., CEO/President of Child Care Consultants & Facilities Management, Dr. Day Care Learning Center, Kids Klub, and Therapeutic Child Care Services. We educate infant, toddler, preschool, kindergarten, and school-age/camp children.

“Dr. Day Care” can be reached anytime by calling 401-723-2277 x 222 or by e-mail at For additional Parent Resources, such as informational videos, visit our website at:  Mary Ann also recently wrote a children’s book about educational opportunities that you can read to your child: Edgar Graduates: