Getting Real with Shadra Bruce

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The first time you leave your little one in the care of another, either daycare, pre-k, or kindergarten, it can be a daunting day for the both of you. You may be more nervous than your child, but there are ways that you can ease both yourself and your child into this memorable step.

Most care centers and schools, if contacted ahead of time, are willing to let you and your child visit to scope out the new environment. This allows the child to get excited about something new while still remaining in the safety of your presence. They have an opportunity to investigate the classroom, the toys, and the other children, while you can ask any questions that you may have.

For very young children that are entering day cares or pre-k centers, it is sometimes encouraged that parents only drop their child off for short periods of time at first, gradually building up to half a day and then finally whole day if that is the goal. This relieves the shock of an extended separation and allows both you and your child time to get used to the idea of being apart.

As parents it can be difficult to to go back to work or school and leave your child in the care of someone else, but it can be a positive experience for you both. Your child may be tearful and distressed at first (and you might be as well!) but kids are resilient and flexible and will adjust – and they won’t hold it against you for it either.