5 Must-Have Items For Starting Daycare
More than 32 million children are in daycare or another child care arrangement, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. If your child is about to become one of the many kids in care, knowing what to bring on the first day can help to smooth the transition and make the most of her new start.
Talk to your child's teacher or the daycare director about what the center requires her to bring and what they restrict. Some schools have set lists when it comes to do's and don'ts, while others may have looser recommendations. Along with the items that the child care center requires, your little one may need:
1. A backpack. Your child needs something to carry her stuff in. Letting your child pick out her own pack helps prepare her for starting daycare, notes the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Take your child with you and let her do the choosing. This gives her a sense of control and may make her more excited about starting 'school'.
2. A change of clothes. Accidents happen, and diapers leak. If your tot is still not potty trained, a change of clothes may be needed if her diaper overflows. Children who are in the midst of potty training or recent grads may still have accidents that require a change of clothes. Pack underwear, pants/shorts and a new top along with extra socks. Your child may also need a change if she gets wet and muddy during outdoor play, spills the water colors or misjudges her apple juice cup at lunch.
3. A lovey. There's nothing like cuddling her favorite fluffy bunny or hugging her naptime blanky. That said, make sure to label the lovey and remind your child to pack it up at the end of the day. You don't want to get home from daycare only to find that she's left her beloved stuffy at school.
4. Photos from home. It's completely normal for your child to feel separation anxiety or seem sad when you drop her off at daycare for the first few times. Sending in a few photos from home may do the trick to ease her worries and turn her frown upside down. Create a family collage before the first day along with her. Browse through photos of you, your spouse and siblings. Cut and glue them to a piece of card stock paper or make a mini photo book for her to bring with her.
5. A note. Even though your child isn't able to read, you can still quietly stash a little love note into her bag. Instead of writing lots of words, use a few that she knows by sight along with symbols. For example, write the word "Mom" and her name. Draw a heart in between or kiss the note with red lipstick on to send her some love while she's away.
The start of daycare is an exciting time. Your child will be meeting new friends, learning new ideas, exploring, experimenting and playing in a new space. Before she starts the adventure, put some thought into what you back. Doing so helps her to ease into the daycare day and allows you to prep her for possible needs.
To learn more, contact a company like Mountainside School with any questions or concerns you have.