Starting Childcare (@16 months and older)

Brief Tip Sheet

  • Play games such as peek-a-boo and hide-and-seek to teach your child that you always come back.
  • Plan to visit the centre twice a week for two or three weeks before starting.
  • At home, use absences from your child (even a trip to the toilet!) to teach your child that you always come back.
  • Transition him slowly by leaving him for increasingly longer periods of time starting with ten minutes and building up to half an hour.
  • When your child knows his carers’ names and is confident to go to them for help then he is ready to be left there without you. If this takes longer than four or so visits arrange a meeting with the carers and director to plan as a team how to help your child adjust.
  • Talk about childcare at home- the children, the carers, the routines and the activities there. (Take photos home to talk about if you can.)
  • Have a childcare friend over to play at home (or visit them). You could also meet at the library or local park.
  • When you start childcare –after your child has become familiar through orientation visits- aim to spend 10 minutes settling your child in. If this is not enough, ask the carers for help and then leave.
  • When you leave say, “Bye! I will be back soon.” And go.
  • You might like to call the centre to find out how he is. You will probably be told he is fine so now you can get on with your day!
  • At pick-up time spend some time letting your child show you what she did that day.
  • Get some feedback from the carers.
  • Talk to your child on the way home about her day. Use the names of the children and the carers.
  • Accept any feelings of sadness or anxiety with a simple cuddle.


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