Taking your child to a nursery for the first time can understandably bring uncertainty and a range of emotions for everyone, especially so during a pandemic.
You might have been able to arrange tax-free childcare, planned dropping off and picking up, and explained everything to your child, but no amount of planning and organising can prepare you for the mix of emotions on the first day.
Many parents will find themselves feeling weepy, often due to a child’s who clings to their leg at drop off, or maybe because the child doesn’t make a fuss at all! It can be quite unpredictable and emotional, so here’s a brief guide to that first day.
Recognise your emotions
Separation anxiety is hereditary, part of our biological programming to protect our vulnerable children. When these feelings strike, recognise them and try to put them into perspective.
Build relationships with child care teachers and caregivers
The importance of your partnerships with nursery staff can’t be overstated, it’s the key to your positive experience and an important way to minimise stress.
Prepare for new safety measures
Children may be unprepared for pandemic-era safety measures, such as masked adults and temperature checks. Most children will adapt quickly, but learning about practices and helping your child feel familiar before the first day will be of benefit to all.
Develop drop-off routines
Children need help building routines, as they do not have a well-developed sense of time. Schedule your drop off at the same time every day, sing the same song on your way to check-in, and wave goodbye from the same window. You do not need rigid routines, but they are important for minimising the emotional challenges of the first few days.
Prepare for pick-up
It can be a surprise for parents to find their child has a meltdown at pick up instead of drop off, but it is completely normal. Creating a pick-up routine will also help your child, maybe a snack on the way home, or their favourite music. Keep in mind that the meltdown isn’t because your child isn’t happy to see you, it is just the swell of emotions your child is trying to process.
If you’re looking for a nursery in Manchester city centre, get in touch today.