9 answers

Changing Daycare

We are moving in a couple of weeks. The daycare that my 3 year old daughter is currently attending is awesome but it will be too far away for us once we move. We've already found a new daycare and I am trying to prepare her for this big change but I'm not sure she really understands. I am nervous mostly about the daycare change, I don't think that the new house will be a problem. How can we make the transition easier? Has anyone been through this before that can offer advice? Will our first days, week, month be filled with crying and fits at drop-off? Your help is appreciated!

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So What Happened?™

Thank you all for the great advice. We've been in our new house for a week now and my daughter is taking it all in stride. Kids are so very resilient. She is a little clingy in the mornings at daycare and 3 days we even had to leave her there while she cried (which is heartbreaking!!) but the teachers assured me that as soon as we are out of sight she is fine. The kids are friendly and everyone seems to be very nice. I like the program and am more comfortable with the center now that we have had some time with them. Hopefully, next week will go even smoother!

More Answers

K.,
I've gone through this alot with my older kids (but also had to switch when they were little). The best thing you can do is to get her excited about the new friends and toys to play with at daycare. Send a special blankie or something to cuddle. She might get weepy when you leave her at first, but just reassure her that she'll have a good day and you'll be back to pick her up. Ask your new daycare to help get her distracted if needed - she'll be fine once you leave. Good luck in your new home!

I would say if the new daycare isnt a huge distance for you to drive maybe take her to the new daycare a couple of times before you move so that she knows what to expect and sees that that is where she will be going to daycare

I switched my daughter's daycare like 3 times when she was 2 because I had some horrible experiances and we also moved. She was confused but always excited to go somewhere new with new toys and surroundings. It took maybe 1-2 weeks top for her to settle into the new routines. She never cried and I still feel horrible for switching daycares so much but it hardly effected my daughter. My daughter is a only child so it didn't really matter where I dropped her off aslong as there was other kids she was in heaven. It sounds worse than it actually is. Kids adapt pretty easily. As far as moving my daughter loved that, she was totally cool with it.

The combo of the new house and the new day care could be what makes her a little uncomfortable for a few weeks. It isn't like she is switching day care and going back home, she is switching day care and going back to a new home, so everything is different and not 'regular'. At least at the new home, mommy and daddy are there too making that transition a bit easier.

When ever we would change anything, go on vacation or take 3 days off, our oldest son would take two weeks to not cry when I would drop him off after the schedule went back to normal, and this was at the same day care he was always going to...

I would send along her favorite blanket, maybe her favorite toy...something to give her that sense of security.

My two kids have just been through this in the past month. My daughter is 3 and my son is now 16 mo. I thought my son would have the harder time because he is in the stranger anxiety phase but he has adjusted surprisingly well. My daughter on the other hand has transitioned ok but misses her old friends from the old daycare. She still talks about them as well as some of the old teachers. So what we have tried to do is to stay in touch with some of her old friends and set up playdates with them on the weekends. This has helped a lot. If you won't be moving too far I would try to keep in touch with her closest friends. Eventually they do get over the change but I think at age 3 the hardest part is making new friends.

the first day I brought my daughter to day care for the first time, I stayed most of the day, through the morning and through lunch and part of the afternoon. They were probably glad to see me go but it gave me a really good sense of the staff there and how they cared for kids. I'd encourage more people to do this. That may be a bit long but maybe you could try to make the first few days shorter ones or go visit for a short time before the first day

K.-It really depends mostly on you and your reaction. If your daughter sees or hears you are nervous or worried about her she will cry and carry on for days. If you sound excited about the place - like "guess what Mommy and Daddy found a new fun place for you to go while Mommy and Daddy are at work and it is sooo cool. They play games and have a great playground." Then she is going to be at ease knowing some of what to expect and knowing you are confident about her being there. She can ask questions and if you don't know just say we will see when we go visit. When you bring her for her first day continue the excitement even if she doesn't show it and make sure to introduce her to all adults and ask after a while if she can remember the name of her teacher - practice it so she will feel relaxed about asking for help. I had to change my daughter in daycare and learned kids really pick up a lot of the apprehension from the parents. I also found it helpful to plan to spend at least a while if you can't visit for the whole first day so that you don't give the wrong message about the daycare by being in a rush and you can play a kind of discovery game to get her interested in being there by showing her some stuff and waiting for her to point out some stuff to you. (pictures, toys) Reassure her you are going to be back in a while just like always but try not to mention the old daycare or people there if you can avoid it and if you keep a happy face even if the first day has a couple tears it probably won't be something that lasts longer than a day. Hope this helps - S.

We just went through this with my son who will be three in October. His day care closed so we were forced to move him.

Two things that helped us:
We talked about how he was going to start going to school (pre-school) because he's getting so big.
And, I took him for a 2 hour visit one morning a week before he transitioned...to see it for myself and to introduce him to his new teachers and some of the new kids.

Keep in mind that it will take 3-5 weeks for your child to fully adjust. Right when you think it's not going well your child will all of the sudden completely embrace the new place.

All in all my husband and I would agree that the change was more difficult for us than for our son. Good luck!

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