Our Top 10 Tips for Parents on the First Day of Kindy
by Megan Portas on Jan 20, 2023
Our top ten tips for parents on the first day of daycare or kindy from seasoned parents. We certainly don't have all the answers and still learning on the job, but if we can help out some others families make the transition to school parents easier and completely judgement free, we would love to.
The first day or daycare or kindy can be [insert every emotion here]. It is an exciting time for both kids and parents. So from one parent to another, here are our top ten tips for helping you start on your daycare or kindy journey.
1. Be prepared
The better prepared you and the kids are, the less stressful it will be. Label everything (and we mean everything!). Pack bags the night before. Lay out the clothes, socks and shoes. Have sunscreen accessible (we find storing with our hats is a great spot).
2. Talk to your kids
Kids are pretty switched on to what is going on around them. Talk to you kids about what is going to happen before, during and after daycare or kindy. Ask the if they have any worries and how you and the educators can help. Get them excited about all the wonderful things they are going to do - play with friends, arts and craft, learning amazing things and being apart of the community.
3. Let them get dirty
Honestly, my kids are usually the ones covered head to toe in dirt and shoes filled to the brim with sand and we LOVE it. Daycare and kindy is a safe environment set up to allow kids to be kids and explore they way they want to. Don't be worried about paint, dirt, sand or water.
4. Don't compare your family to others
It can be easy to see other families in the same environment and compare your family and/or child for better or worse. Each family, child and human is different and we all develop at our own pace. Do what is best for your family and if you are concerned about your child, raise it with the educators or see your GP or child health practitioner.
5. Be prepared for sickness
I am sure you have heard everyone tell you, "the first month is the worst", "the first six months are the worst", "the first year is the worst", "sickness peaks in winter", "sickness peaks at the start of the year when all the kids re-mingle post holidays". In summary: sickness is year-round and inescapable. Take each day as it comes and my absolute top advice: don't put off to tomorrow what you should to today... because you do not know what illness make impact your household by then. May the odds be in your favour, and I hope you don't get gastro.
6. Don't be surprised if kids just want downtime
Participating in daycare or a kindy program is a very exciting and tiring environment for kids. Don't be surprised if on a non-care day they just want to relax and chill out at home.
7. Night waking
Changes in sleep behaviour and night waking are very common in kids; I did not know this prior to it happening with my own kids. Change in routine, being overtired, missing you and seeking your comfort during a period of change, are some of many reasons that your child may start waking up at night.
8. Debrief the day
Talk to your kids. Keeping communication open is important. Let them know they can tell you anything and everything. Let your kids tell you about what happened during the day and what is on their mind.
9. The GUILT
Oh, the GUILT! Some parents find they have more guilt than others. Guilt for not being with your kids, guilt for not working enough, guilt for not doing enough, guilt your kids are sick from going to care, guilt, guilt, guilt.
Take it one day at a time. You are doing your best and where possible get some downtime and some self-care.
10. Communicate with the educators
Communicate with your educators. Find out what works best for you both. A quick catch-up in the morning, email, formal meeting. Ultimately, you both want what is best for the kids, so working together and creating a positive but professional relationship can only benefit your child.
Best of luck and please drop any comments or other suggestions you have below.
Thank you, Megan xx