In an ideal world, you would be able to perfectly coordinate your work schedule with your child's school day goings-on. It would be great if you could drop them off, go into the office, and then get off work in time to pick them up from their school. Unfortunately, in the real world, schedules conflict in all kinds of ways. If you find yourself needing to put your child in before-school day care, here are some simple ways that you can prepare your child for this new part of their routine.
Step #1: Adjust the Morning Schedule Prior to Their First Day
To ensure that the transition happens smoothly, adjust the time that your child gets up at least a week before they are scheduled to start going to before-school child care. That way, you won't have to deal with an especially cranky child when faced with an earlier wake-up time than usual on the day that they start day care. It will help both of you get used to the new schedule gradually.
Step #2: Discuss Friendships and How They Should Treat Peers
Although you probably have had discussions with your child about friendships before they started school, have this talk again before they start going to before-school day care. They may be comfortable with school now and solid in their existing friendships, but they may get scared at the idea of facing a new set of children that they don't know. Remind them that the best way to make new friends is to be a friend and discuss the things they should not do or say to other kids.
Step #3: Check in on Your Child's Feelings about Their Schedule
Many children will enjoy going to day care both before and after school. Some children can get anxious at first, though. Separation from parents for any additional amount of time can be stressful for some children. Your child will feel understood if they can discuss their feelings and have them validated. So, when your child's new schedule is about to start, ask them about how they are feeling, and you can talk about your own feelings, too. This can allow you both to express yourselves and get ready for the change.
Finally, keep in mind that your child's caregivers will be focused on providing them with a positive experience before they start to school for the day. You may soon find that your child looks forward to the before-school child care, and they may be disappointed when schedules shift again. All in all, this can be a positive thing that can help enhance your child's schooldays.
For more information, contact local professionals like Lily Pond Child Development Centers.