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How Do I Help a Child Adjust to Day Care?

Step 1

Visit the day care with your child. The first visit to a new setting can be overwhelming to a child. Give your child a chance to explore the room and, if possible, interact with the other children or play with the toys. Meet the attendant with your child and ask any questions that you might have.

Step 2

Start your child's new schedule. Getting into your routine several days or weeks before the first day at day care will make the transition easier. Setting an earlier bedtime and practicing the morning routine before the first day helps avoid a chaotic morning and a worried or confused child.

Step 3

Discuss the first day at the day care center. Talk to your child in the days before starting day care about her visit to the center, and remind her of all the fun activities she saw. Show a positive attitude when talking to your child about her day care. Listen to her concerns and be encouraging and reassuring.

Step 4

Pack a special picture or toy for him to take to day care. Having a special reminder from home will help your child remember that you love him and help comfort him if he misses you during the day.

Step 5

Say goodbye quickly on the first day. Giving your child a quick hug and kiss and a wave goodbye is challenging but allows for your child to adjust to the day care center quickly. Staying in the room makes it harder on your child when you do leave later.

Step 6

Continue to be involved with day care. Talking to your child about his day shows that you are supportive of his new adventure. Stopping by to visit or bringing a special treat at lunch after he has adjusted to his new routine is a way to show him that you think about him even when you are away. Packing a special note or lunchbox surprise are other ways to show him that you are always thinking about him.

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