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Preparing the Child Care Journey | Sparklekidz

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Get your child ready for daycare. Learn essential tips for a smooth transition, ensuring their safety, happiness, and development. Read now!

Think about what early childhood educators and carers need to know about your child, and let them know before your child starts. This is likely to include information about:

  • your child’s wellbeing, including sleep patterns, emotional and social preferences, any family circumstances that might affect your child, and your child’s comfort items
  • food allergies, intolerances or other medical conditions
  • your child’s interests – for example, dinosaurs or space
  • learning activities your child enjoys – for example, puzzles, drawing or construction
  • any concerns you have about your child’s development
  • specific family circumstances that might affect your child’s care


The weeks before starting child care: emotional and practical preparation

It’s a good idea to start preparing several weeks before your child’s first day at child care.


Getting familiar with the service

Ask the educators and carers about their orientation program and suggestions for settling children in. Some child care services offer transition mornings, playgroups or playtimes for parents and children. Or you and your child might be able to visit the service to get to know the setting, the educators, and other children and parents.

Getting used to the routine

To get your child used to the child care daily routine, you can ask the service about its daily schedule and make this part of your child’s routine at home, if this works for your child.

Child care settings should follow babies’ personal routines. But for older children, it can be a good idea to introduce the setting’s lunch, play and nap times at home. Your child might take less time to adjust to the routine when care starts.


Getting familiar with educators

In the weeks before starting, you can find out who your child’s main educator will be. If you can get a photo of this educator and talk about them by name, they’ll be more familiar to your child.


Reading or telling stories

Books and stories about starting child care or making new friends can be a safe way for your child to explore strong emotions and understand new events. It’s good to include all the feelings your child might go through – for example, happiness, enjoyment, friendship, sadness, anxiety, apprehension and tiredness.

And talking positively with your child about the new environment, friends, educators and activities will help both you and your child feel positive too.

The night before starting child care: practical tips

If you get practical things organised the night before, it can help you avoid a last-minute rush in the morning. This can take the stress out of the first few days and weeks at child care.

Here are some tips for the night before starting child care:

  • Try to ensure your child eats a healthy dinner.
  • Get your child into bed in enough time for a good night’s sleep. If your child doesn’t sleep well, this might affect their experience the next day, so let your child’s educators know.
  • Check that all the things your child is taking to child care are labelled with your child’s name.
  • Pack all the things your child needs, including bottles, formula, nappies, hat, spare clothes, medicines and medical record.
  • Pack special comfort items if the setting allows them.


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