Back to school time comes with a whole mix of emotions for parents and children alike. Even if you don’t have kids that are in school yet, they are bound to be affected by those that are heading back to school. Some kids will love going to school, while other children will be terrified about a change from their usual daycare routine. Parents can have the same range of emotions as they try to deal with their children in different places and always the struggle of them growing up too fast. Regardless of how you feel, both the children and the parents are bound to be stressed at this time. Here are a few tips to help you along in these transitioning times.
Always Be Excited
Act excited, even if you aren’t! This will help your child be motivated and interested in these changes.
Always Be Interested
Even though you may feel overwhelmed, make sure you ask specific questions about school or their friends they might have who are going to school.
Take Some Time
Cut out some of the extras in your schedule to make time not only for your kids, but for yourself as well.
Make Sure to Show Attention to Your Kids Who Aren’t in School
It is a huge deal that one of your children is going to school, but you also need to make sure you give attention to those kids that aren’t. They will feel left out if you don’t.
Stay on Top of Schedules
Often during school, schedules become very complicated and hectic. Make sure your schedule matches up with your daycare providers.
It is a stressful and busy time for everyone when school starts and if you have children in daycare it can be very difficult to make everything work. It will be even more difficult if you do not follow these simple rules. You want your kids to be excited about school, happy about those that are going to school, and handling the changes well. As a parent you will need to have them responsive to being dropped off and picked up whether it is daycare or school. These simple rules should make it much easier for both children and their parents to make the difficult transition back to school from daycare.
As a responsible and caring parent, your child’s well-being is foremost on your mind. Car seats play a very important role in keeping your child safe in one of the most dangerous activities they will ever be a part of: riding in a car. Automobile injuries are the leading cause of death for American children (http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/childpas.htm). A recent report, released by the American Academy of Pediatrics and based primarily off of a 2007 study by the University of Virginia, showed that children under two years of age are 75% less likely to sustain a severe injury in a car accident if they are in a rear facing position.
Most parents, as well as daycare centers and private daycares, currently use age as their primary factor when determining how and if a child should be restrained in a car seat. Previous to this study, it was recommended that a child should be in a rear-facing car seat until the age of one year. At one year of age, many children’s car seats are turned around so they can face forward. Turning the child’s car seat around was often a major milestone for parents.
This new study and the suggestion of the American Academy of Pediatrics indicate children are much safer if they are kept in a rear-facing position for one more year. Though the convenience of turning your child around to face forward is tempting, we would urge you to follow the new recommendation. The rear-facing position is much safer for your child in a car accident because their entire body is supported during a crash. Keeping your child in a rear-facing position might even help you avoid crashes since you’ll be less inclined to take your attention from the road by turning around to look at your child.
Since driving is such a normal part of our lives, it’s easy to forget how dangerous it is. Driving is one of the most dangerous things we do, so as responsible parents we need to be sure we are taking every precaution while driving to make sure we are being as safe as possible.
It’s important to address these new findings with your daycare provider. It is likely they already know about them, but it is important to make sure. You may want to ask what kind, if any, policy changes they will be making. Be sure that they are being as safety-minded as any other responsible adult.
If your daycare provider drives your child anywhere, it is important to know how they are doing this and that they are keeping up with all modern safety precautions. Be sure to also check what kind of car seat they are using for your child. Make sure the car seat is installed correctly and facing the right way. Your child should have an assigned car seat and it should be adjusted correctly for them.
Check to make sure your own accommodations are as safe as possible and that you are setting a good example by wearing your seat belt and talking with your children about car safety. If you teach your children about car safety they can and will police themselves. They may tell you if they did something dangerous or were not strapped in for a short trip.
Remember, as a responsible parent your job is to make sure your child is as safe as possible. It is your responsibility to speak to your daycare provider, change your own habits or inform your nanny of the changes in care for the safety of your child. Make sure you do what you can to ensure a long, happy and healthy life for you and your children.
Whether 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
After 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.