A family’s first day at childcare is often a mixture of excitement, nerves and possibly a few tears. To make the transition a little bit easier, here are a few common questions (and answers!) about what to expect on the first day.
What time should I turn up?
Families are welcome to turn up anytime they please as they should have conducted a number of orientation days before their start date and therefore know their way around and what to expect. We do like to encourage families to turn up on their first day at the time they would normally be dropping off their child going forward so they become used to that drop off time.
What do I need to bring?
At Guardian, we provide everything children might need during their day. However we do ask families to bring a water bottle for their child to use throughout the day, some spare clothes as some experiences can get messy and any comforters such as a dummy or sleeping bag/blanket the child might need to make them feel more settled. To find out more on what to bring, head here.
Who should I ask for when I arrive?
When arriving on your first day the Centre Manager (or 2IC) and Room Leader will be there to greet you and settle your child in.
What will happen when I arrive?
When families arrive they will be assisted to sign their child in, find their child’s locker and put their bag away as well as meeting the rest of the room educators if this didn’t happen during orientation. The Room Leader (normally) will settle the child in by taken them over to an experience, introducing them to the other children in their room or offering breakfast (if it is a morning drop off). Sometimes mum and dad need some extra support and a tissue or two!
What’s the best way to say goodbye to my child?
If you have time it is comforting for your child when you take some time to settle them in rather than run off quickly at drop off. It is important to always say goodbye and remind your child that you will be back to get them later as this provides them with a sense of security especially when they see you at pick up time just like you promised.
My child seems upset, how do you settle them in after I leave?
If you leave after drop off and your child seems upset we will reassure them that you will be back and encourage them to explore the environment and engage in experiences. A specific educator will stay close by to settle your child as well as build a relationship to help them feel safe and confident in the space. We can also use StoryPark to communicate what your child is doing and to show them any replies you might make. This is a nice way for children to share their first few days with their families. For example, a child once sent a voice note to their parent who answered with a voice note which the child listened to.
What will you do with my child on their first day?
On your child’s first day we will work on building relationships between their educators and other children in their room to help them create bonds which will make them feel secure and safe. Of course we will also support them to get to know their new environment by encouraging them to engage in some fun and creative experiences which are of interest to them.