[Parentsgroup-list] Daycare questions

Susannah Rose rose at fas.harvard.edu
Sat Apr 24 07:30:21 EDT 2010


Alexander,
My daughter attended another Harvard-affiliated daycare, but she did start
daycare at about the same age. And, we found that she had very little problems
transitioning. Some tips that we found helpful included the following:

1. Go the the daycare together the first time -- for a few hours. Most daycares
have a transition day, or few days, and this is a good time for you and your
child to get to know the place, the people, etc.
2. Don't make too big a deal out of the whole thing -- either before or after. I
tried to prepare Sophia, but I also tried not to make it a huge event. I think
that keeping things calm and "normal" was a big help to all of us. Of course, I
did say nice things about daycare, helped prepare her (as much as one can with a
toddler), but I tried not to go over-board.
3. Be very confident with your child that this daycare thing is a good thing --
although I was so anxious, I tried not to let Sophia see this.

One way I did this is when it was getting time to drop her off at the daycare,
after staying for about 20min with her and giving her two time warnings, I gave
her a big hug and kiss, said "goodbye" and put her in the direct care of a
teacher (for some attention and distraction), and left the room. I did not peak
in the window, or come back when I heard her cry for the first time (although
this was SO hard!). I waited in the waiting room for about 10 min, and then
asked the Director to check on her in the room to be sure that she was OK while
I stood right outside the door (where Sophia could not see me) -- and she was
having a great time!!

After that first day, she did not cry at all -- in fact, she LOVED daycare (she
is now in Kindergarten, and still loves school).

I do know that some other children had some separation anxiety, but the other
parents who followed essentially the same routine had the same experience --
after about a week, their children also grew to really like daycare.

One thing I would avoid is "sneaking" out of the room while the child is
distracted -- most children will notice and panic, which sets-up a bad routine.

Anyway, these are my thoughts, and given that parenting is a very personal
activity, my tips may or may not work for folks, but I hope that they are
helpful.

Best,
Susannah


Quoting Alexander Nikolaev <nikolaev at fas.harvard.edu>:

> Hi everyone,
>
> We are currently considering sending our daughter to the Soldiers Field
> Park Daycare and we are wondering whether anyone on this list could
> provide any feedback on this daycare center, positive or negative alike.
>
> On a related note - it would be awesome if people could please share
> their experience of starting daycare with a 17-18 month old toddler. Any
> tips on how the transition is best handled? We've heard / read that at
> this age kids are particularly prone to separation anxiety.
>
> Thanks a lot!
>
> Sasha&Lena
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