It’s very normal for parents and children to have some level of separation anxiety when a child enters childcare (or is re-entering after a long time away such as during the pandemic or even just after a summer away). Childcare Providers with a lot of experience have seen it all when it comes to transitions – sometimes they are smooth and sometimes… not so much!
- Separation Anxiety at daycare drop-off is typically temporary as children adjust to a change. Children between 1 and 3 years of age are the most vulnerable to separation anxiety…but we have seen it at all ages, especially since the pandemic when children have spent more time at home and with their parents. Don’t be hard on yourself or your child…you’ll both get through it! Parents that seem upset when dropping children off impact the way the child thinks about care. If you are upset, it may be impacting your child’s experience.
- Prepare children in advance for the transition and make going to daycare exciting! Talk about how wonderful childcare will be, say the Providers name a lot, talk about the other children they will meet!
- Let them bring a bit of home with them – bring items that comfort them, a stuffed animal a blanket, even a picture of the family!
- Support the Provider – with up to 6 children in care, Providers can’t necessarily hold, coddle or give your child all the attention that you do. Set realistic expectations with your child (if they are older) or reinforce activities that build their independence at home.
- Build routines – try and stick to a schedule if possible. Spend a little more time with the child struggling with drop-offs at home in the morning and when dropping them off, say a proper good-bye to the child and reassure them you will be coming to pick them up.
- Keep the lines of communication open with your Provider – ask her advice on what is the best way to make drop-off at daycare as seamless as possible. Providers typically get children involved and busy right away…if that is the case, don’t linger.