Preparing your child for child care

Childcare offers a great first step towards the lifelong journey of learning, allowing children to attain essential skills, embrace socialisation and build their educational foundations.

But how do you prepare your child to take that first step?

Here are our top tips for preparing your child for childcare…

Visit in advance

A good childcare service will welcome you to attend the centre in advance, allowing you and your child to meet staff, work out where things are and become familiar with the surroundings.

This might occur through an orientation day or via a few preliminary visits, but this familiarisiation helps create comfort and confidence in the place where your child will be spending their time.

In the weeks prior to starting childcare, also take the time to provide all the information required and familiarise yourself with the centre’s routine and ethos.

Show them where they will go

If your chosen childcare centre is in your local neighbourhood, take the time to drive past it on a regular basis, while telling your child that’s their exciting new centre where they will meet new friends.

This regular trip helps build familiarity in the routine they will soon be embracing.

Practise prior to attending

In the weeks prior to starting childcare spend some time with your child practising some of the things they might do.

This might include reading to them, playing with blocks, doing art, or simply socialising with other children in their age group.

Each of these acts helps your child familiarise themselves with what they might be doing.

Establish a routine

Most childcare centres build their day around a routine that includes morning playtime, learning time, food breaks and quiet time.

Ask your chosen childcare centre for a brief rundown of their daily routine and begin to incorporate it into your routine at home. This helps your child know what to expect.

Involve them in the process

As you ready your child to attend childcare, involve them in the process – whether that’s visiting the centre, picking out a backpack or labelling the items they will take with them.

Together, this helps them build a sense of comfort and familiarity with their personal items, while preparing them for the change that is coming.

Be organised the night before

The night before your child commences childcare, be organised.

Have their items labelled, their bag packed, and perhaps involve them in the process. Ensure they get a good night’s rest and wake them with enough time to have a leisurely morning on the day they start.

The first day

On the first day of childcare, allow enough time to get to the facility without being in a rush, then sit with your child, spend time in the surrounds and ensure they are comfortable.

Show them the areas they need to know about and introduce them to the staff members they will spend the most time with.

You might also want to schedule a shorter day for their first day in attendance, and if they will be going to childcare multiple days a week, talk to your centre about the best way to approach this.

For the first week, you might want to do three days out of five, then build up to a full week in attendance.

How we foster learning through play

At Nature’s Kids Early Learning Centre, we have a focus on ‘real play’ where children are encouraged to explore and interact with their peers and the environment around them.

Our facilities are designed to promote exploration and imagination, and we carefully manage the balance between the balance between care, education and play, allowing children to discover their innate ‘Wildhood’!

You can read about our play-based education philosophy here, and view our state-of-the-art facilities here, or book a tour of our centre.