Transitioning Your Child Back to Child Care

With the state beginning to open, we know children will be able to return to child care. Maybe you have some concerns about how your child will transition back to child care after being home for so long. How can we help them feel comfortable and be used to not being with us 24/7? Here are some tips to help the transition process:

Talk it out: remind your child of their teacher’s name and their classmates. Ask them if there’s anyone you missed. Ask them what they are excited or scared about going back to child care. It would be good to have a conversation about how going back may be different – their teacher may be wearing a mask, they may see more cleaning being done, and they will probably have their temperature taken every day when they arrive. Remind them it’s to keep everyone safe so we can keep seeing our friends every day.

Visit the school: this may not be easy during a pandemic, so the alternative is to drive by the school. Sit in the parking lot and see if they recognize where they are. If you can see the child’s classroom or the playground, show them and get them excited. Ask them what they do when they’re at school. Is there a fun game they play on the playground. Do they have a favorite toy? Remind them school is fun!

Schedules: if you know your child’s schedule at school, try to adjust your schedule at home to something similar to familiarize your child with the routine. If you don’t know your child’s schedule, you can try reaching out to the school for their schedule or make your own schedule. Keeping your child in a routine will make the process feel natural.

Be confident: it’s normal if your child gets upset when you leave, especially after being together for so long. The best thing to do is a quick, confident goodbye. Don’t linger! If your child begins to cry or scream when you leave, lingering will cause confusion and could lead to them thinking they can convince you to stay or take them with you. Most children calm down very soon after their parents leave. If you’re concerned about leaving your child, talk to the director/administration and have them call you if your child is still upset after 30 minutes.