There are as many reactions to going to Child Care as there are children. Some children may feel upset or anxious as it might be the first time they have been left in the care of someone who is not a family member. The size of the rooms and different levels of noise could all contribute to a child’s discomfort and as we know, once that feeling settles in, it can be hard to displace.
Different children show anxiety in different ways
- Some may cry, or even scream
- Some may complain of tummy ache, or head ache
- Others may go very quiet and withdrawn, or appear restless or clingy
- Others may really feel sick and don’t want you to leave
How you can Help
- Prepare your child – visit the centre together; when you first go, only go for a short time; always tell your child when you will be back eg after snack time, and be there on time. You could play little role playing games at home where you are playing together in the play room and you say goodbye and leave the room and tell your child you will be back soon. Wait outside and then come back in soon with a cheerful welcome and hug.
- Communicate to the staff at the Child Care Centre if there is something that happened at home which might have been a trigger
- Develop a feeling of trust – have a good routine about coming to the centre, perhaps reading a book together or playing a game and then saying goodbye (You may share a little goodbye ritual like high 5) and leave as promptly as possible; Be as calm as possible. A child will sense if you are anxious.
- When you return, spend some time reconnecting with your child or bring a favourite toy to come home with. When the time is right, talk about the day and what was enjoyable.
- If your child is unsettled over a period of weeks, talk with staff at the centre.
- Listen well to your child as there may be a problem which needs to be addressed.
At Angel’s Paradise Early Education Centre, your child’s well-being is central to us and we invite conversations with parents about their children or concerns they may have.