Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Transitioning beginning toddlers in child care

I was asked about what is the best way to transition a one-year-old from a daycare class they have been attending to a new classroom with new adult caregivers.  In this case the mother works as a teacher so she is home during the summer but has to pay for the child care spot even if it is not used in order to reserve it for the fall.

What works best is if the program has a plan in place to work through this transition.  Many programs do.  It would mean one of the child care staff that has a good relationship with your child would accompany him or her to the other classroom periodically in the weeks leading up to the transition.  Visits would last about 15 minutes to 1 hour.  Generally this would be done about 4 - 6 times.  The child would be free to interact and play with the other children and get accustom to the new adults.  Other one of the new adults will even come visit in the younger classroom a few times so that the children are comfortable. 

If the program does not have staffing or a transition plan then parents can fill this role as well by taking the child in for periods.  This needs to be in consultation with the staff of the new classroom.  Sometimes parents think that visiting during nap time is best, but this is often a time when the staff is trying to help get children settled down and they would prefer visits during a more active time where the child would be attracted to the activity.  Generally it works best if the parent that the child has the easiest time separating from is the one that pringes the child in for the visit.  If the child clings to mom, then it will only get worse if mom is the one that brings him or her in for the visit.

I would get a phone number from the parents after they started dropping of the child for short periods (about 2 hours) so that I could call the parent and reassure them about how their child is doing.  Otherwise the parent usually assumes that the child is upset the whole time.  Generally children settle down within about 10 - 12 minutes.

In the case of the parent that is mentioned above my recommendation was to have short times (about 2 hours each time about 3 times a week) where she takes her son in over the summer so that he gets use to the routine and the faces as well as the new surroundings. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

I encourage everyone to watch the video at the link posted below.  It is a TED talk on Slowing down in a world built for speed.