The toughest part of the day for many parents is the morning, when they have to drop off their little ones at daycare.
Some children will cry for just a few minutes after their parents leave while others will happily wave good-bye. Some might even say, "Have a good day!" (This happens frequently at Kids College; it always warms my heart). But more often than not, the real separation anxiety is stronger for the parents than the children.
Many moms — especially first-time moms — find it difficult entrusting their babies with anyone who is not a family member. This is something that I understand more than you know. When my daughter, Gabby, was a baby I had a grueling schedule that left her in daycare for more than eight hours a day. I shed many tears at the thought of leaving my baby with others.
Truth be told, this laid the foundation for Kids College. I know from personal experience how important it is to have a safe, nurturing, fun and educational place for our little ones.
The Benefits of Daycare
If you Google daycare or start a discussion on Facebook, you'll undoubtedly come across a spate of opinions, for and against full-time childcare. But the reality is if you're child is going to daycare, it's because you don't have a choice. Knowing the benefits of daycare will help you reconcile your own separation anxiety.
First of all, many daycares offer a nice mix of activities during the day to teach different skills, such as singing, dancing, and storytelling. At Kids College, we implement an educational curriculum infused with fun activities that is developmentally appropriate for your child. Your kids are not just playing all day; they are learning new things.
Ongoing research by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development suggests that children in quality daycare centers may even have an intellectual edge over those in other kinds of care. When researchers compared kids in quality daycare to those in other, equally high-quality childcare situations, children in centers performed a little better on tests.
Finally, toddlers benefit from the chance to socialize with other children, which they may not get to do as often when a nanny or relative cares for them at home.
Know that children will learn to cope
Developmentally, young children have a hard time with separation because they don’t have a sense of how time works and they don’t yet know the nature of families. Babies and toddlers can only think about the present moment. If you leave, they can’t imagine you coming back, because they aren’t fully capable of thinking about the future. They also don’t yet know that you are going to be "their people" for the rest of their lives, so they don’t automatically assume that you will always come back.
Eventually, children will develop a routine, which will allow them to feel safe. Work toward consistency in scheduling - even with young babies. Babies can't tell time, but they begin to internalize their schedules.
At Kids College, we have a strict drop-off time that lasts until 9:30 a.m., sharp, because we strive to keep our little students' schedules as consistent as possible. Dropping off children later than 9:30 a.m. will not only disrupt their typical routine but it can throw off the entire classroom as well.
One of our parents said that talking about how fun school is — describing the playground, enthusing how fun circle time is and mentioning teachers by name — has helped create a sense of excitement about daycare.
Get to know your daycare community
Did you know that our teachers and even the front desk administrators know all of our kids by name? We love our kids and their families.
Please know that we are always here for you. Call us any time during the day to check on your child!