- Family and Parenting
Helpful Daycare Tips and Advice For Working Parents
Sometimes the hardest part of the day for a child is letting go of mom or dads hands and joining class. Parents fell guilty for leaving and tend to stay in the classroom while their child throws a crying fit because of their impending departure. The easiest and most simplistic way to get through this is to give your hugs and kisses and leave.
Forget about the abandonment look their giving you and say goodbye. Out of sight out of mind has a lot of meaning here. Once you're actually out of the classroom many will whimper a few minutes and then join the class like every other day. Just remember they really are fine once you are out of their sight and go ahead and leave moments after drop off.
There is no way to guarantee that your child will always have a good time at daycare but there are a few ways to make their stay more enjoyable. As a former daycare teacher, I've witnessed on a first hand basis exactly what goes on between drop off and pick-up. Most parents do everything they can to help their child but here are a few tips many may not have thought off or may have forgot about.
If your child is present during naptime it is important to have blankets available everyday. Most daycare centers will provide sheets to go over mats but blankets must be brought from home. This is another item that can be stored in your child's cubby. Children who have their blankets seem to sleep sounder and easier because it brings the feeling of home. INo Sew Fleece Blankets work great for daycare. They can be made in just an hour and personalized for your childs personality.
Remember to wash regularly and bring them back. Please avoid pillows unless your child absolutely needs them. Most don't sleep with them and until another child brings one, they don't even think about them. If you must bring one keep it small enough to fit in a backpack or cubby so that your teachers don't have to find room for them around the classroom.
During my years as a daycare teacher I generally worked with all ages of children from infants up to 4 years old. Everyday I would need to pull out clean clothing for someone because of accidents, spills, art messes, etc. Many centers will have individual cubbies for your child's clothes. Even if your child is potty trained, having an entire set of clean clothes is a good idea.
If your child does have a habit of multiple accidents an extra pair of pants are a lifesaver. I have had to put children in pull-ups with no pants at 3 years old because parents didn't pack enough clothes and we didn't have any extras in the center. Make a point to always keep extra clothes, socks, and shoes available for your child at daycare.
For clothes your child has grown out of, ask your daycare if they accept donations for these sorts of things. Many daycares have a few small supply of extra clothes for accidents.
Diapers, Wipes, Formula Etc..
For the items that come from home. Check on a regular basis if they need to be restocked.
If your child is still in diapers check on a regular basis that the have what they need. Borrowing from other children and then replaced later is a nuisance to keep track of and can irritate other parents if done on a regular basis.
Same goes for wipes and formula.
Snacks and lunches:
Most centers will provide all meals and snacks that the child are present for. This is dependent on the center. Some do require meals to be brought during the summer or on Fridays. Unless your daycare asks that they be brought, those little bags of goodies and lunch boxes can really interrupt meal time.
On days that it's ok to bring lunchboxes. Please pay attention that healthy meals should be encouraged.
Aside from the other children upset about what "Johnny" has for lunch or snack, food from home can be dangerous. Your child may not be allergic to what has been brought but the child next to him he's sharing with may be. Food is also not served at any times other then scheduled meal times and it gives the children the impression that if it's from home they can eat it any time they want.
Toys from home are fun but can become nuances.Do not bring them to class unless it is "Show and Share day" or it is a stuffed animal used on for sleeping with. Anything else should stay at home. A good rule to remember is don't bring anything to class that you don't want the center keeping. They get lost and misplaced amongst all the other toys and this can make for a rather upset child. If you do choose to send them remember that the teachers cannot keep track of them and should not be held accountable for searching for them.
Considering Starting Your Own Home Daycare?
If your child has even a minor health issue make sure your center and teachers are aware of it. Do not bring medication to be left in lunchboxes, backpacks, or cubbies. Give it to the program supervisor or director upon bringing into center so that they can disperse at the needed times and can place in appropriate storage facilities.
During summer unless it is provided, bring a bottle of sunscreen labeled with your childs name to be left at center. Your center should have a medication form to specify when and how much these need to be used. Don't worry about it being used on all of the children, because of health reasons teachers cannot use anything on a child unless it is provided by the center or the parent asked.
Seeing a sick child come to daycare is heartbreaking. Daycare teachers understand that you have to work too and need them to come, but if at all possible find a friend or relative to watch them while their sick. Not only does it make their day uncomfortable being in a place that is generally to loud to sleep and get well at, it also can cause the other child as well as the teachers to get sick. Also, make sure the center has a reliable number to reach you if the child needs to go home and make it a rule of thumb that if they look sick, keep them home.
Remember at pick-up that the children aren't thinking about what they need to bring home. Check cubbies, art folders, blankets, and coats. The end of the day can be the hardest for teachers because the children know their going home soon and seem to pick up their second wind around this time.
If it is necessary to talk with your teacher allow them the space for interruption keeping in mind they are still watching the rest of the children. Feel free though to ask how their day was and if there was anything the teacher wanted to talk to you about.
Some teachers act almost afraid or embarrassed to tell parents their child misbehaved. I have always found it helpful to attack problems as a team with the parents. Let your teachers know that you welcome comments on their childs behavior whether good or bad so you can work together on correcting it. Opening that line of communication and showing the teachers you care what goes on. Will make their stay at daycare better and can help what goes on at home as well.
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