You may be considering switching daycares and feeling uncertain, nervous, or even guilty about your decision.
Any transition in child care (new or familiar) can come with a whirlwind of emotions. But the benefits of a quality daycare program are monumental for your child’s well-being now and in years to come. At the end of the day, your child is resilient—just as you are!—and can easily adapt to a new environment with proper preparation.
For some families, the reason for switching daycares comes from a shift in circumstances, such as a recent move or change in financial situation. For others, the decision stems from a dissatisfaction or bad experience with their current daycare.
Whatever the reason may be, changing daycares can feel like a daunting task. But sometimes, the most trying of tasks can be the most rewarding. Here are some tips to help ease the tension as you transition child care.
How to Ease Your Child into Switching Daycares
Choose the Right Daycare
The first step for success as you transition child care programs is to make sure you’ve chosen the right one! While every family’s childcare needs look different, there are some must-haves that most families share on their desirable daycare checklist, such as:
- A nurturing environment
- Qualified and caring providers
- A safe and stimulating setting
- Individualized care and attention
- A customized curriculum with age-appropriate activities
Choosing the right daycare program for your family can be a challenge in and of itself. It may be helpful to reflect on some of the qualities of your previous daycare that you were drawn to – as well as those you weren’t so fond of. Your likes, dislikes, and non-negotiables can serve as a starting point in your search. Creating a list of these qualities can help you to gain clarity on what’s important for your family in a daycare—and have a reference point to look back on as you do your research.
Explain the Change to Your Child
Clearly communicate the upcoming changes with your child. Simply explain the reasoning behind switching daycares so you and your child can begin to prepare for the transition. Even if your child isn’t talking yet, it’s still helpful to explain the change to them ahead of time, so it isn’t sudden. Plus, many children’s receptive language skills develop quicker than their expressive language. This means they can still understand when you speak to them even if they can’t reply just yet!
If possible, try to provide opportunities for your child to say “goodbye” to their old daycare. Have a chat with your providers ahead of time to share the news and see if they can offer any suggestions. Some daycares will allow children to bring in a small treat or gift for their last day if they are leaving, which can be helpful in easing the transition. At the very least, be sure that your child is able to share some departing words, hugs, and waves goodbye.
Try to Keep Things Consistent
Consistency is key for young children—and this is especially true when there is a major transition happening in their worlds. Do your best to keep all of the other elements of their lives the same, such as schedules, routines, and familiar faces at home.
As you transition child care and settle into your new space, adopting a similar approach in terms of logistics, schedules, and routines can help your child adjust. For example, try bringing the same items to your new daycare and sticking to your same drop-off routine and daily schedule. This prevents your child from becoming overwhelmed by too many things surrounding daycare changing at once.
Talk to Your New Daycare in Advance
Connecting with your new daycare providers in advance can help prepare both you and your child as you transition child care. Starting to build a relationship with the new people in your child’s life will put you both at ease if you’re able to recognize some familiar faces on your first day.
Ask plenty of questions and be aware of any major differences in the new daycare’s schedule or routine that your child may not be used to. By doing so ahead of time, you can help ease your child into any changes in the upcoming weeks before the switch so they are already one step ahead of the game on their first day!
Find a Nurturing Environment For Your Child With Cadence Education
Whatever your reason for switching daycares may be, you can help set your child up for success by ensuring you choose the right daycare, communicate the change, keep things consistent, and connect with your new providers.
The importance of a quality daycare program with nurturing providers is even greater when children are in the midst of a transition. This is why many families nationwide for the last two decades have opted to send their children to one of Cadence Education’s early education programs. With individualized instruction and care in a loving environment that looks and feels just like home, parents know their children will get the support they need. Whether they are changing daycares for the second time or their children have been in a Cadence program for years – they know their children will always get the support they need.
If you’re considering changing daycares and are curious about the nurturing environment at Cadence Education, find a facility near you to learn more about the exceptional care and early education programs available for you and your family.