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Providers  >  Communicating with Parents  >  Easing a Child into Care

Easing a Child into Care

It can sometimes be difficult for a child and his or her parents to adjust to child care. Most children will experience some level of separation anxiety -- especially if it is their first time in child care. Here are some things you can do to make the transition smoother for everyone.

  • If possible, have the child ease into the program by attending part time for a week or two.
  • Have the child bring in family photos from home to share with teachers and other children.
  • Help parents to make good-byes short and sweet. Encourage them not to drag good-byes out. That can make the separation harder for both parent and child.
  • Help parents to establish a good-bye ritual if it helps with the transition (for example, saying good-bye at the same door or window each morning).
  • Have the child bring in a favorite stuffed animal, blanket, or toy.
  • Make it clear that parents can call at anytime during the day to check in and see how their child is doing.
  • Encourage parents to pick up at the same time every day. This helps the child learn what to expect and have a secure routine to rely on.
  • Make sure to check in with parents at the end of the day, and let them know how their child’s day went.
  • Provide a lot of empathy and reassurance to children and parents. Explain that these feelings are normal and that their child will adjust very soon.
  • Adapt the program in the beginning to welcome children in a low-key way. Plan activities that are inviting, rather than over-stimulating.
  • Plan to have a parents’ night once or twice a year, during which parents can get to know the teachers and each other.
Most children will experience some level of separation anxiety -- especially if it is their first time in child care