Category Archives: 5-First Week

Daycare & Preschool Supplies You May Need

daycare-crayon-scatterWhether your child will be attending a daycare center or an in-home childcare provider, you will need to furnish some initial supplies.

You’ll need to provide at least one set of clothes. It’s a good idea to give your provider one “summer” outfit and one “winter” outfit, and an extra pair of shoes. Make sure the clothes can be stored with the daycare provider or at the preschool until they’re needed, and that you won’t miss them if you don’t get them back for awhile (or at all) .  Kids are very active and get dirty at daycare. Depending on the specific activities your daycare offers, you may need to provide a few other things such as a swimsuit, sportswear or winter weather gear such as heavy coats, gloves, and a set of winter boots.  If your child comes home in the extra clothes, be sure to wash them right away and return them to the daycare provider. You don’t want to leave your child without an extra set of clean and warm clothes.

Diapers

Luvs Diapers
Luvs Diapers

If your child is still in diapers you’ll need to make sure that the daycare provider remains well stocked with diapers and everything else you need for a diaper change:

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Diaper rash cream (many providers will require you to sign a permission slip)
  • An extra set of clothes (your baby or toddler should ideally have two sets of clothes there)
  • Plastic tub to keep everything in (if the provider wants one)

For babies, you’ll need to provide expressed breast milk each day, or provide the baby’s formula. It’s a good idea to provide some formula even if you are pumping—babies enter growth spurts without warning and the provider may use up your entire day’s milk supply before the day is over!

The daycare may keep track of feeding and diaper changes for infants. It’s helpful to see how much food your child is consuming, and when, and if they are being changed at regular intervals and having regular bowel movements. They should also note the time they go down for a nap and what time they wake up.   It’s also helpful to know about the basic mood of the child for the day, what kind of activities they did, if the provider noticed any progress with milestone activities (lifting head, rolling over, crawling, etc). It’s difficult to remember to tell the parent everything that happened in the day when the child is picked up, and many states require that the provider keep track of this information each day.  It’s especially helpful to have this information when you get home and realize you have absolutely no idea when your child will need to eat again.

Medications and Special Needs

Millions of parents have a child with some kind of special need.  You may need to provide medication or equipment and instructions on how to use it.  If you’ve contracted with a provider, you will have already discussed their willingness to work with your child’s needs. If your provider seems to be hesitant or having second thoughts when they begin working with your child, you may need to reevaluate whether your child should really be attending this particular daycare. Childcare providers today should be experienced with handling the more prevalent special needs, such as food allergies and ADHD. For less prevalent and more intensive needs, it may be a more difficult search. Regardless, after evaluating their own capacity and agreeing to take your child, they should be ready and willing to work with you, and keep you updated on how everything is going.

Almost all daycare providers will require you to fill out a permission form for any medications or treatments they will need to give during the day.   When you return the permission slip and the medication or treatment information, you may also want to provide a simple, typed explanation of the dosage or steps of the treatment. It’s good to have a reference to verify they are doing the right thing. In a daycare center, you don’t always know which teacher will be working with your child, so it would be nice for all the teachers to have access to the instructions.  Your providers should already be certified in first aid and should know how to handle allergic reactions, minor injuries or other common ailments with children.

It’s up to you to be clear with the provider regarding your needs as well as your child’s needs.  Tell them under what circumstances they should contact you.  Whether your child has allergies, asthma or another condition, be sure to cover the warning signs and what the provider’s course of action needs to be.  When you are contacted by the daycare provider during one of these times, keep a level head.  The daycare provider needs to know that you appreciate the honesty up front and contacting you right away.  Give them advice if they need it and thank them for letting you know what happened and for taking care of it.

Other Supplies

Sometimes daycare providers will have special projects and may ask the parents to bring something special to daycare.  For a fall project, you might need to have your child collect colorful leaves from your yard, or you might need to provide some pictures of the family for a Father’s Day present.  If the daycare provider has a rich preschool program, you may need to help keep the kids supplied with school supplies.

These things, like so many others, never seem to come up until you are expected to handle them immediately.  Hopefully this article will give you some insight into what is expected from you as a parent. Should your daycare provider ask for much more support, such as asking you to provide all a child’s food for child with a few food allergies, I would suggest looking for other daycare.  There are many quality providers who can accommodate your child’s needs.

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Help Your Child Adjust to Daycare

Sometimes kids need some help adjusting to daycare. Or maybe they need some confidence in going to preschool or daycare. Their routines are their lives and it can be hard to get them used to something out of their routine. If your child needs a little help you might want to try getting them a book of their own about daycare. It can help them learn about how fun daycare or preschool can be.

Try this book out at Barnes & Nobel: I Love Daycare by Joy Berry, Dana Regan

Carl the rottweiler takes charge when things take an unexpected turn at the day care center he is visiting.

It can be very helpful to address this anxiety at home and away from daycare.  A story you read to them frequently about daycare can help them get comfortable with the idea, even excited. So give it a try even if you are just thinking about daycare!

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The First Week at an In-Home Daycare

daycare_sidewalk_artThe first week in an in-home daycare will be a very important week for you, your child and the provider you chose.  You’ll have to get used to how each other handles the daily routine.  Make sure that you’ve talked to your child about the upcoming changes in their routine and the exciting new daycare they are about to attend.  This can be a difficult time for everyone as they adjust to this new change. Just remember to take it one day a time, be patient, and maintain open and honest communication.

Transitions for Young Children
Transitions for Young Children

It’s very important to make sure that you prepare yourself as well as your child for starting in this new in-home daycare.  Talk to your child frequently in the days leading up to beginning.  Answer any questions your child may have and make your best effort to help your child be comfortable with this idea.  They’ll be going into a stranger’s house with strange people and children they don’t know.  This can be very difficult for child who has known only comfort and familiar faces.

Routines and Transitions
Routines and Transitions

Make sure to schedule plenty of extra time in your daily schedule for this first week so you can properly drop your child off and pick them up.  Give yourself an extra fifteen minutes to a half an hour for both drop off and pick up for your first week.  For the drop-off, you will likely need to hang out with your child for awhile until they get comfortable with their new situation.  The new provider will probably get the child playing with the other children right away. This will help your child feel better about the new daycare.  When you pick them up make sure to speak with the daycare provider about the details of their day and how your child did.  Make sure to offer lots of praises to your child as this will surely help them to warm up to the new daycare.

The first week at the in-home daycare is your chance to make sure the standard of care is at your desired level.  This is the best time to make any adjustments for the long-term.  Most daycare providers will be very receptive to making some minor changes should it make the parents and the child happy.  If you see anything drastic, be sure to bring it up immediately so that it can be addressed.  Once a certain amount of time passes both your provider, and you, will have an unspoken agreement about how care is handled.  It’s easier to make minor adjustments during the first week.

 

Children Starting School
Children Starting School

During this first week you also want to make sure the daycare provider has all of the equipment and supplies they may need.  For younger children in diapers this means you’ll have to supply all the necessary things surrounding a diaper change: diapers, wet wipes, any creams or ointments.  You should also provide an extra set of clothes or two in case they get messy.  You may even need to supply an extra car seat should they take any trips.  Some daycare providers will also want you to leave coats, gloves, sunglasses, sunscreen and possibly other things to help them take care of your child.  Make an effort to get all these to them as soon as possible.

 

Preschooler Problem Solver
Preschooler Problem Solver

The right in-home daycare can be the toughest to find. In home daycares can provide some of the most benefit once you find the right one for you.  It’s important to start early, remain diligent, and make sure that the daycare fits your needs.  If you make this effort, you’ll be rewarded by a high quality in-home daycare that will take great care of your children.  Hopefully a long lasting bond of friendship will forge between the children as well as you and the daycare provider. This kind of care can be ideal.  Bringing the social setting of a few kids together with the focused personal attention that children need and deserve, it is no wonder that in-home daycare is so popular and widely used.

 

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The First Week in a Daycare Center

daycare-center-classroomThe first week a new daycare center is going to be an important one.  It is important to do your best to do it right, prepare your child correctly, and work with the daycare center to make sure this transition goes as smooth as absolutely possible.  This first week may well end up shaping you and your child’s overall experience with this daycare center. You don’t want your child to dislike the daycare center or have to fight them every time you drop them off. Remember to have an extra amount of patience during this first week with your child as this is a very difficult time for them. This will help to make a happy daycare center experience.

Meeting New Friends
Meeting New Friends

Once you’ve signed all the papers and your start date for the new daycare center is set, make sure to ask the administration specifically how the first few days are going to go.  It may be a little different as they will certainly have their own methods to integrate your child into their daycare facility.  Do your best to follow these procedures that they give you to help with this transition.  They will likely tell you a few things to do when you arrive to get used to the daily drop off and pick up schedule.  Make sure that you speak with your child about this transition ahead of time so they are excited and eager to start the new daycare center.  If you spring this decision on them as you are dropping them off for the first day you’re guaranteed to have a lot of problems.  Do what you can to generate excitement in your child about starting with the daycare center because this will really help them prepare for this new experience.

Make sure to give yourself plenty of time this first week while dropping them off and picking them up.  You may have questions for the administration or teachers and they may have questions for you. Be prepared to spend a little extra time there than you will normally to make sure everyone is on the same page.  You should also have some extra time to comfortably drop your child off.  Most daycare centers will encourage you to hang out for a few minutes in the morning to help your child adjust to the new classroom and the new people.  You definitely don’t want your child to think you are abandoning them in this unfamiliar environment.  So take your time, help them feel comfortable as you introduce the teacher and the children.  You may even want to sit down with the teacher and your child and start playing a game or with some of the toys.  This will help to distract them and allow you to leave without tears.

 

The Fairy Twins: Land of New Friends
The Fairy Twins: Land of New Friends

This routine should last through the week and then you can gradually wean your child off the heavy attention this first week demands.  Eventually you would like to get your child to the point where you sign them in, give them a hug, and then let them run off to their daycare friends.  Be sure not to push your child too much and allow them the time they’ll need to feel comfortable in this new daycare center. Don’t be too surprised though if there is nothing that can be done to calm your child, and you have to leave when he or she is crying. It is heartbreaking, but usually they’ve stopped crying by the time you’ve reached your car in the parking lot.

 

Make sure to touch base daily with your child’s teacher to ask how they’re doing and if there is anything you can do to help.  Make sure that you stay connected during this first week to the needs of your child to as well as the daycare center.  This is a transition time for you and your child.  Make it’s the best you can and you’ll have a pleasant and lasting daycare center experience.

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Nanny Orientation

daycare_kids_bubblesAfter you’ve hired your new nanny, gotten the terms of employment and work agreement squared away, and prepared your home for a live-in nanny, it’s time for her to start work. Giving her some time to get oriented is very important. Many bad experiences between nannies and employers could have been avoided if the nanny had been given a thorough orientation. Allow a half day to a full day for a live-out nanny and two days for a live-in nanny for orientation. The orientation should include:

  • Giving her a key to the house
  • Showing her where a spare key is hidden in case she is locked out
  • Emergency phone numbers
  • Written authorization if she is allowed to transport  your children in a car
  • Showing her any quirky locks or appliances
  • Showing her how to work the alarm system,  if you have one
  • Introducing her to neighbors or any other people she may need
  • How to handle medical situations, who to call, what she is allowed to do on her own
  • Review safety information (answering the door, turning off the water, fuse box location, etc.)
  • If you want her to keep a daily log of activities, go over with her what you’d like included
  • How you’ll reimburse her expenses (keeping receipts, recording expenses, etc.)

Since there is a lot to go over, you might want to make a checklist of the things you want to cover with the nanny. The amount of information may be overwhelming for her as well, so the more you can put in writing, for her to review later, the better.

The nanny’s orientation is a good time to get the children and the nanny used to each other, and for you to observe the nanny’s interactions with them.

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Warning Signs in Daycare or Preschool

childcare_artOnce your child is enrolled in a home daycare, daycare center, or preschool, you need to be aware of the provider and the children. If the provider always seems unhappy, exhausted and overwhelmed at the end of the day, you might want to ask her about it.

Relationships between daycare providers and parents aren’t always the most comfortable. Sometimes they can get downright frosty. Oftentimes this is because the provider and the parent have different ideas about childcare. Hopefully it is something that can be resolved. The parent’s relationship with the daycare provider is important. If you don’t have an honest relationship with the person who is taking care of your child, you can’t trust that person to work with you when something goes wrong.

You must take action promptly when you suspect abuse or neglect. It’s something none of us wants to even consider, but you need to be on the lookout for red flags.

Here are some signs of trouble:

  • The provider never has time to talk to you.
  • Child is shuffled out the door when you drive up.  You should always pick them up inside.
  • You should be allowed to visit your child at any time. You should not be discouraged from seeing your child.
  • Change in your child’s behavior—any sort of dramatic behavioral change.
  • Your child starts using inappropriate words.
  • Showing an unusual interest in people’s private parts.
  • Any talk of secrets or keeping anything from anyone.
  • An excessive fear of going to daycare.
  • An excessive amount of scrapes, cuts, and bruises.

Talk to other parents, they may be stumbling onto something you do not know about yet.

Parenting is hard enough without having to worry about your child while you are at work. But no matter the great references or reputation, if you feel that something is not right, listen to your gut. It’s better that you be an overprotective parent than to have a bad situation continue.

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