It’s no secret that starting child care can be a significant transition for families, especially when you aren’t sure what to expect.
It takes a village to share those simple tips that can go a long way in making life that little bit easier. Just in case you don’t have your own village, we’ve consulted a group of Greenwood parents and gathered their favourite tips that helped with their own children.
“Take advantage of a ‘stay and play’ session to get both you and your child used to child care. It also allows them to form bonds with their educators, and gets you used to the environment too, which will prevent their first day being too rough on everyone! It’s also a good idea to let the centre know about your child’s likes, dislikes and interests ahead of their first day. The centre will take note and might do things like play their favourite song when they’re being dropped off. Or they might even incorporate their interests into their educational programs.”
“I get in touch with my child care centre to book in casual child care days when life gets busy. It gives me extra time to get everything done, whether it be dull life administration tasks, or extra days at work when a deadline is coming up. Less stress for me and my little one gets to have fun with her friends.”
“I label everything, even individual socks! I’ve also bought some cheap clothes that are only worn by my child on days that he goes to Greenwood. I’m not too attached to them, so if they get lost or messy along the way, I’m not sad about it.”
“Make friends with other parents at pick-up and drop-off. You can have their children over to play with yours, and they all entertain each other and wear each other out. Then other parents return the play date favour and you get some down time in the evenings. Win-win.”
“As soon as I find something my child likes – a lunch box, a specific drink bottle – I stock up on a few, just for when they need to be washed, or if they get lost along the day. The best selection of this stuff is always available in January at back-to-school sales, so try to nab them while you can.”
“The child care subsidy can be really confusing to understand, especially when it comes to figuring out how to make the most of it. Phone Greenwood’s family specialists and talk to an expert. They’re used to the questions and can help so much, especially when walking you through flexible hours.”
“Ask questions for any specific needs your child has. For example, sleep is very important to me, so I asked heaps of questions about how exactly the children are put down for sleep and made sure that my child would only have his ‘parent-approved’ sleep associations.”
“Let the children choose their clothes the night before to prevent them having a break down in the morning! And have the same routine every morning so that they know what to expect, it keeps everything as calm as possible.”