According to Center for American Progress, approximately 23 percent of all children under five years of age are cared for outside of the home – including in daycares or preschools. If you are a daycare mom or dad, you know how hard those first few days or weeks can be – but it does get better. However, what do you do if your otherwise independent toddler or preschooler begins melting down at drop-off? Here are four ways you can put an end to drop-off drama:
Create Rock Solid Bedtime and Morning Routines
One of the best ways to prevent a daycare drop-off meltdown is to ensure your child is well-rested, well-fed and happy. This is best achieved by creating and following solid morning and bedtime routines.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, toddlers need approximately 11 to 14 hours of sleep and preschoolers need at least 10 to 13 hours of sleep throughout the day. Keep these number in mind while creating a bedtime routine. For example, if your three-year-old is only getting a one hour nap each day, make sure they are getting at least nine to 12 hours of sleep at night.
Waking up your child each day, feeding them breakfast and leaving for daycare at the same time each day will also help ensure they are well-fed and prepared for the day ahead. If there is an emergency or if you can't keep this schedule, make sure a partner or family member is there to fill in. However, ideally, one of the parents should be there to take their child to daycare.
Get To Know the Daycare Providers and the Kids
Your child has been attending the same daycare or preschool for months or years, but this doesn't mean they're interacting with the same people every day. Kids, teachers and daycare providers come and go, and this constant change may be making your child feel uneasy. This feeling of unsettledness can lead to those meltdowns at drop-off.
One of the best strategies to help your child feel safe and comfortable at daycare is to fill a photo album with pictures of the adults and children your child sees every day. Before taking these pictures, make sure you have permission from all of the parents to photograph their children.
Gather together all of the pictures of the kids, daycare providers, the daycare center, the child's classroom and the playground and arrange them in a photo album. Take the photo album out every night and eventually, your child will begin to feel more comfortable with their surroundings.
Take picture of kids and providers out and put new ones in, as needed.
Drop Off Your Kids the Right Way
Finally, if your child is having trouble being dropped off at daycare, your anxiety and guilt might be the issue. If you're feeling anxious about letting your little one go to daycare, your child can sense this and will react with a meltdown.
During the car ride to the daycare, keep smiling and get your child excited about the day ahead. Don't bring up any past meltdowns and instead, focus on the positive aspects of daycare.
Once you arrive at the facility, continue to laugh, joke and smile. Ask a teacher or daycare provider to meet your child at the door and take them directly to the classroom. Don't linger or get upset and instead, give your child a hug, tell them goodbye and walk away.
Dealing with toddler or preschooler daycare meltdowns is tough, but it is possible to put an end to them. By following these simple tips, you can help make your child's daycare experience a happy and positive one! For more tips and advice about attending daycare, contact a company like Basics Primary School & Day Care.Share