Transition Tips – starting a new child care program

Preparing your child for the first day at Dr. Day Care

The first day at a new place can be scary for anyone. To help make your child’s first day easier (for you and for your child!), try some of these tips. 

Transition Tips - starting a new child care program

Practice separation

This is especially important for children who do not have experience in a child care program yet. Start with small increments, like half an hour, and build up to longer periods of time spent apart. This also shows your child that you will return and help ease separation anxiety. 

Keep discussions positive

You may be feeling anxious about your child’s first day. Children often pick up on that anxiety. Keep discussions and comments positive. A positive attitude will help ease the transition. 

Discuss the transition

Bring up the Dr. Day Care classroom often, while focusing on the positive. Talk about the fun activities the class will do during the day. Tell your child the teachers’ names. Ask questions about what they are looking forward to doing at school. Help prepare your child for what to expect on the first day.

Transition Tips - starting a new child care program

Begin following the new routine

Start following your new schedule now. Think about what your morning will look like every day and begin preparing for the change. Predictable routines help children, so start the routine early.

Get a copy of the classroom schedule and start aligning your child’s day with Dr. Day Care schedule.  The closer your child’s schedule is to the new classroom schedule, the easier the transition will be for everyone.

Recognize emotions

Your child’s first day may have tears or big feelings, and that’s ok. Talk about how your child may feel using factual statements without judgement. The first day may be emotional, but the best way to help your child feel safe is to be light and happy. Feel confident in the decision you made choosing a safe, educational environment for your child.  We will be there to help every step of the way! 

Send family photos to your child’s classroom

Photos of your family help provide a source of comfort. Print and bring in copies of favorite photos or email them your center Administrator. Each Dr. Day Care classroom has a Family Tree that displays family photographs. Seeing photos of themselves and their family at school helps children feel a sense of belonging and provide a source of comfort. 

Transition Tips - starting a new child care program

Have questions on how we can best support your family with this transition? Give us a call, we’d love to help! You can send a message to your Dr. Day Care center directly or find the center nearest you on our Locations page.