It’s an emotional time when you start thinking about someone else looking after your babies. Trust me, I absolutely get it. I thought I’d be fine. Even the second time around. But there were a few tears, from both parties!
When we first put my first daughter Annabelle into daycare, I had absolutely no clue. The whole process was so daunting; first finding a centre, then knowing for sure if she was ready and would she be okay in there?
Here are some of my personal experiences and tips for putting your little ones into care:
Mums of Mamamia confess… the time I was a bad mum:
1. Find the right daycare.
The stress of daycare for parents often begins well before your little ones walk through those doors. When you finally make the decision for them to start, most likely when you’re about to head back to work.
As you know, kids feed of their parents’ emotions. So if you aren’t sure, chances are they are not going to be either. Finding the right daycare for you is crucial, so that you feel comfortable and so do your little ones.
When I finally made the decision to head back to work, I didn’t have much to go on. I asked around on people’s suggestions and decided to go and look at a few.
To be completely honest, I didn’t know what to expect. But the first centre I walked through I just had a good feeling about. It was run by a local family who had successfully built several centres locally. Everyone spoke highly of it and the staff seemed lovely.
We have been there five years now and my girls still love it. And our babysitter is actually one of our carers, she’s the bomb.com.
2. What to do before they start.
I think a huge part of starting daycare for the first time is making sure you are fully prepared. Make sure you speak to your child (no matter how little) about what is happening.
Talk about their new daycare, what it will be like and what will be there, such as all the games and activities. Even take them for a little tour, walk through the rooms, show them theirs and stay for a little bit to get familiar.
Make the process fun like taking them to buy a new backpack for them to take, let them pick a soft toy or comfort item to take along if they want.
My experience is that the more prepared they are the better. Springing anything on my kids, unless it’s a trip to a water park, doesn’t usually go well.
3. Be prepared.
Depending on where you’ve chosen, each centre or family daycare will provide different things. I’m lucky, as my centre have a kitchen and provide all meals and snacks and all nappies. We just need to send them with a change of clothes and a drink bottle (and I’ve forgotten that a million times whoops) but some don’t provide anything.
So make sure you know what you child needs to bring and have it all ready to go the night before so there is no stress the morning of. A reminder in your phone for the evenings before daycare days so you have everything ready to go is a good way to not forget. I do this for Kinder now as I wasn’t used to it for daycare.