5 tips to prepare your child for going back to daycare

Now that child-care centres are reopening across Ontario, including Canada’s largest non-profit provider, YMCA of Greater Toronto, parents might want to prepare their kids for going back.

York University’s Cristina Delgado Vintimilla, an assistant professor of early childhood in the Faculty of Education, is providing a few tips for parents to help their children transition back to daycare.

They are:

Create a plan that gradually helps kids go back on schedule for bed time, nap time and meals to make the transition to daycare easier;

Talk with them about what is happening with COVID-19 and how life will slowly go back to the way it was before the pandemic;

Expand your social circle, if possible, to include another family with a child of similar age to your child;

Find new ways to play with your kids, like getting on the floor to play with their toys or role playing with their dolls, stuffed animals and figurines;

Organize online playdates and video calls with your child’s friends;

The province has allowed child-care centres to reopen June 12. Daycares are slowly reopening. The YMCA of Greater Toronto plans to start opening its 300 child-care centres Monday, July 6.

Vintimilla also tells parents to be patient and flexible with their children to start, and to communicate with the daycare educators.

“Parents need to be as flexible as possible during the first days of going back to daycare, especially with infants and toddlers. It could be the case that children need to again go through a gradual re-entry to daycare, returning for part of the day or just a few days a week, before returning to a full-time daycare schedule,” she said in a news release.

“Sometimes we treat daycares too much as if they are only a service, but daycares are spaces for children and families to be part of an experience that is generative and joyful. Conversations with your child’s educators will allow them to support families and address any concerns and questions that parents might have.”

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