Starting Daycare – ALL you need to know!!
Blog x TMM

Starting Daycare – ALL you need to know!!

It’s all in the preparation…. Slow and steady so it is not a huge shock on both bub and parents.


You may be returning to work, or giving your little one some social interaction with other children. Childcare may be your only option if you have to go back to work, but your child is going to gain friendships, and life skills, have fun and become ready for kindergarten and school!


There are things we can do as parents to help ease your little one into their new environment and relieve some anxiety you may be feeling too! And trust me.. After a few weeks, you will be high-fiving yourself once you drop your little one because you realize just how beneficial it is for both of you.


Choosing a daycare,


I have found that it is better to just show up rather than make a booking, as it is best to see how they work day to day, without them having the pre-warning that a new family is coming, you will know straight away if it is a good fit for you, by what you see and how you feel, and never mind the smell I can tell you – they all have it! Think of this process like buying a home, you remember that feeling when you knew it was the one, choosing a daycare is no different, you know if you don’t get the feels, you will know when it feels right.


Once you have chosen, make sure there is a good orientation program to ease your little one in, always ask as many questions as you need, and know there is no silly questions, the educators are there to make you and your little one feel comfortable and supported, remember It takes 4-6 weeks to completely settle into daycare, so we want to ensure your child is completely supported, and we want to ask and know-how are they going to help your family and your child feel safe and secure.


The orientation process will help ease them in, as I said slow and steady is the way to go so make sure you allow time for this process, often 1-2 weeks it may entail a transition morning where you stay, to get familiar with the space, and educators with the support of you there, before you leave them, for a few hours on their own (typically before nap to begin with).


Start the conversation with your child (if age appropriate) about child care, talk about how they’ll be safe there, other children will be there and that you will always come back to get them, you make new friends, learn new things, build, paint. All the fun things! (Learning through play😉)


1. Get to know the educators, and room leaders, and build a rapport with them so you can openly communicate things about your little one that will help them, as well as help your child.

Discuss things like your little ones' temperament, comfort items, routine, how they settle, interests and favourite play, any medical or allergies, or specific family circumstances they need to be aware of.


2. Routine – ask about their daily schedule, and try to reflect this at home too, if your child isn’t coping and needs something different ask if this is something they will work with you on


3. Comfort items – always pack your child’s comfort items, sleeping bag and even cot sheets so everything is the same as much as possible


4. Drop off – stay with your child, and always say goodbye. typically you can sit and read a book, or play something, before cuddling and goodbye, your baby will get more comfortable with this as time goes on, saying goodbye makes it easier on them, and the educator to calm them rather than sneaking off and having them wonder where you have gone


5. Label everything – and honestly don’t dress in expensive clothing for the fun messy play they will have 4


6. Bags – include a drink bottle, sleeping bag, comforter, hat, sun cream, change of clothes, and bottles again make sure they’re labelled


7. Check immunisation records all up to date


8. Claim your child care subsidy (CCS) through the Centre link, this is the main way the Australian Government helps families with child care fees. CCS is generally paid to providers who pass it on to families as a fee reduction. This can take up to 6 weeks to come through, so worth pre-planning this so you avoid being charged a full fee. Providers must be approved by the department to receive CCS on behalf of families.


9. Fees – make sure you ask what you are getting as a part of the fees, do they provide nappies and food? Ask to see the kitchen if they do the catering, ensure they have all the correct food and handling safety and that they are supportive in catering to allergies, and dietary requirements. If you bring the food, as see an example lunch box and a list of what is not allowed.


10. Consecutive days, enrolling your little one on consecutive days is easier on bub

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