Separation Anxiety at Day Care—How You Can Help

Separation Anxiety at Day Care—How to Help Your Child Integrate
There’s nothing more traumatic than leaving your anxious child at day care—for you, and for them. You’re not alone. While separation anxiety at day care is normal for a baby or toddler’s development, it’s hard on both the parent and the child. Don’t miss or delay the first step into independence, the first steps towards building resilience and the pride your child will feel achieving accomplishments independent of you, because of separation anxiety. Your childcare centre has met more than one child with separation anxiety before and you can assist them to help your child through this stage. Here’s how you can communicate with your day care to ensure you leave your child without too much separation anxiety.
Share all the information you can about anxieties
You might not want to appear to be ‘one of those parents’ who feels the need to discuss every tiny detail about your child. This is the time when you can. Provide extra details in your applications and communicate with your day care when things change. If your child is going through a particularly anxious period, be sure to let the centre know. If your child has a new nap preference or you’ve found another way to calm them down that’s working, let your childcare centre know. They will appreciate it. Remember you both have the same aims—to keep your child safe and happy.
Don’t jump to conclusions based on separation anxiety at drop-off
If your child is a little more clingy than usual, don’t jump to the conclusion that the day care must be doing something wrong and that’s why your child doesn’t want to go. Remember, your childcare providers are professionals and they are also very busy. Respect the centre’s rules and make an appointment to discuss the issue, instead of trying to talk at drop-off or pick-up time when the educators are still busy with other children at the centre.
Check their modes of communication first
Does your day care provide information via email, newsletters or SMS? Do they provide an app that keeps you updated on your child’s progress during the day? Often separation anxiety at day care abates soon after mum (or dad) leaves. Be sure to use the centre’s preferred communication method to monitor the extent of your child’s anxiety.
Be a part of your child’s day care experience
Keep in the loop and get involved in special events. This will help both you and your child integrate successfully into day care and minimise separation anxiety. It also means you can use any time you get to communicate with your day care provider to observe your child in the group and discuss any issues that arise.
If your child is still struggling to let go, ensure your communication lines stay open with your day care provider and be open to suggestions. Remember they have seen it all before! Don’t be dismayed if they say it takes time for some children to settle in.
JourneyTree offers a communication-based app to keep track of your child in a day care or early learning centre. Offering a private, secure app to communicate more efficiently with parents and store a child’s early childhood development, it’s a great choice for early educators and parents, nationally. Separation anxiety at day care is part of the ‘growing up’ process, but if that is no comfort at drop-off time, updated communication will be! Find out more and enquire about JourneyTree for your ELC today.

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