For a childcare educator, the first day of the new year at a childcare centre is focused entirely on the children, as they spend what for many of them is their first time away from mum and dad ever.
But how often do you think about the parents?
Separation anxiety cuts both ways… make no mistake, the first day care drop is a highly emotional time for the parents as well!
For most parents, leaving a baby in the hands of a child care professional – especially for the first time ever – is a daunting experience.
As childcare course providers at Southern Solutions, we understand how difficult it must be for parents to leave their babies behind.
This is why we’ve put together a series of suggestions and tips that parents can use to make dropping off your little bub as easy as possible, as well as guidance for childcare educators to help support parents.
Before the first drop off…
They say that a failure to plan is planning to fail.
And when it comes to the first childcare drop-off, taking a little bit of time out to get peace of mind for yourself can go a long way towards relieving your separation anxiety and helping you adjust to the impending change to your life.
Parents should get to know the childcare centre
Before signing up with a particular child care facility, parents need to do their homework. And that means doing some digging into the centres they have on their shortlist.
Parents must ensure that the facility they eventually choose provides a safe, clean and nurturing environment for your child. And thanks to the internet, getting this type of feedback has never been easier.
Childcare educators will normally meet parents through tours of the centre before they make any enrolment decisions – this is your chance to shine…!
Parents will want to get to know you – the childcare educator
When it comes to childcare, parents need to have confidence in the centre, but most importantly, in the childcare educators who will be providing care to their kids!
But parents don’t need to worry – children within childcare are in safe hands – with every childcare professional requiring the industry minimum, Certificate 3 in childcare (also known as Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, or by its code CHC30113)
Australia’s childcare educators are not just carers or babysitters – you’re a highly trained, qualified professional!
The big day – baby’s first day at childcare
The day of has come. It’s time for parents to drop their babies off at your childcare centre for the very first time!
It’s completely normal for parents to feel apprehensive or nervous on this day. No amount of preparation is likely to solve that. However, there are things that parents can do – and that you, as a childcare educator, can help encourage.
Parents should give themselves plenty of time to prepare, including gathering everything baby will need throughout the day. Think about:
- Spare clothes
- Food (if the centre accepts “outside” food)
- Any required medication (including specific dosage instructions)
- Other essentials like a blankie or a jacket in case it gets cold
Help baby settle in
It’s important that parents help the baby settle in properly, as it can take a while to get comfortable in a new environment.
We suggest arriving early and sticking around for a bit, to help ease the transition of care from parent to childcare educator.
One thing parents can do to help kids adjust is to give them a transition toy to help them settle. Kids cling to objects if they feel uneasy, after all, so a toy or blanket can be a massive help.
Another thing parents can do, particularly for toddlers, is to talk them through what’s going on and what’s coming up in their day.
It’s important children feel reassured that they are going to have a lot of fun, play many games, and make dozens of new friends! You’d be surprised how receptive older kids in particular are to this.
Parents are likely to want to check in
If parents feel anxious and find themselves wondering what their child is up to during their first few days, you may find them contacting the centre more than you’d normally expect.
Don’t discount this: it can be a hard transition, so ensure you hang up the phone leaving them feel at ease that their babies are content, safe, and having fun!
Learn more about supporting parents with Southern Solutions’ childcare courses
It’s never easy for parents to drop their babies off to child care. But as time goes, it slowly gets easier for everyone involved – parents, babies, and childcare educators.
While a carer’s focus is understandably on the children, it’s important to consider how you can help ease a parent’s anxiety or nerves when it comes to the first drop-off.
These are just some of the strategies that our experienced childcare educators implore with nervous parents. This list is by no means exhaustive – you do whatever you need to do to put parents at ease!
Parents should leave your centre knowing that their kids are in great hands with qualified and friendly educators!
At Southern Solutions, our courses do more than just teach. We nurture our students’ love for kids and their passion for quality essential care with real-world work placements.
If you’d like to lean more about our childcare courses, contact us for a chat! Thinking about a career change in the New Year? Interested to learn more about how we train? Not sure which course might be right for you?