The first time you drive a car, it’s often a mixture of terror and exhilaration. Using your own wits and reflexes, you’re controlling a multi-ton vehicle and going at high speeds! After time passes, you get the hang of it, and driving becomes not such a big deal. But then you get a new car! It takes a little bit of time to find out where everything is and adjust, but you adjust much faster this time because of experience. When it comes to switching child care programs, the same principle applies.
However, we know that kids are creatures of habit. For many of them, once they get into a comfortable routine, they would just as soon nothing ever change. But as parents, we know that the only constant in life is change. Making a move to a new daycare center isn’t as tough as first beginning daycare, but it has its own set of challenges. Read on for a few tips to help make the transition smooth for everyone.
Input Before You Leave
During the final days at the old daycare, ask your child’s teacher to jot down some helpful notes to give to the new daycare. As child care professionals, they may be able to get across certain concepts about your child faster and more efficiently than you can.
An important part of change is getting a chance to say farewell to the old. Give your child time to say goodbye to teachers, friends they have made, and even the building itself. If the staff of the center are game, throwing a goodbye party is a great way to embrace change in a positive way.
Communicate the Change
Children process information in lots of different ways. As a result, give them time to process the change by setting expectations. Talk to them in advance about what to expect, what is different about the new center, and what both places have in common. To help the idea take root, you can do a few “rehearsals,” or read books about the situation.
Speaking of rehearsals, a smart move is to visit the new daycare once or twice and hang out a little before the first day. This gives your child a chance to meet the new teacher, start to make new friends, and begin to get comfortable with the new surroundings. This is especially important if you’re transitioning from a daycare out of somebody’s home to a larger and more “professional” day care center.
Stick to Routine
Remember we talked about routine? If you have a routine in place, such as reading a book together before drop-off, or you go for a walk after pickup, stick with that routine. Too much change too fast can be overwhelming, and some degree of consistency always helps.
Flexibility in your schedule will make your life much easier, particularly the first few weeks. You might end up staying a bit longer for drop-offs, and coming earlier than expected for pickups. Odds are your children will need some time to get used to the new place, so be sure to have some patience with them and yourself.
Finally, try to transition during spring or summer. The last thing you need is your child going through emotional upheaval in fall, and they’re also subjected to viruses during cold season and new environments can pose serious threats to their immune system.
Yellow Brick Road understands transitions are necessary. For this reason, we are dedicated to help you and your little one have the smoothest transition possible. Our team is filled with compassionate and loving care takers who are dedicated to the success and development of your little one. Whether you are moving cities, or need to find a day care closer to home, Yellow Brick Road is here to help. Enroll today at one of our two convenient locations and become a part of the YBR family.