How do I get my child ready for childcare?

Starting child care is a big change in your toddler’s life and it can be an emotional time, but there are things you can do to prepare them for a fun and happy experience.

Joining a new and unfamiliar environment can be unsettling for any child. If your child has a hearing loss, they may need some extra TLC at this time. Here are some ways to ease them into day care:

  • Ensure the carers are aware of your child’s communication needs and that your child meets them and gets to know them before starting day care. Regularly check with them about your child’s progress and socialisation.
  • Take your child to visit their new day care centre for a few hours, spending time with them there, before you drop them off for a whole day. This familiarises them with the new environment and helps them to start interacting with the other children.
  • If your toddler is older, speak positively to them about the activities they might get to do and the toys they might be able to play with at day care. Get them excited about the opportunities that day care will offer.
  • Let your child bring their favourite teddy or comfort blanket for nap time – having a familiar item can help soothe them, especially when they are tired.
  • Don’t be tempted to slip away when they are playing happily; your toddler will wonder where you disappeared to and may become anxious. Instead, kiss them goodbye and reassure them that you’ll be back to pick them up later that day.
  • Try not to become upset and prolong your departure if your toddler cries and clings to you. A later phone call will most likely reveal they began playing happily shortly after you left.
  • Establish a calm routine on the days that your child goes to day care so there’s no any anxiousness about getting there on time and you don’t have to drop them off abruptly.