Tips for sending your child to child care when you’re not quite ready to let them go

Tips for sending your child to child care when you’re not quite ready to let them go

As parents we can feel tremendous amounts of guilt about the parenting decisions we need to make. Add the need for child care to the list and our brains can explode with questions and what-ifs.

Today we look at some of the most common concerns that parents have about child care and do our best to dispel the myths and calm your fears.

TIPS FOR SENDING YOUR CHILD TO CHILD CARE WHEN YOU’RE NOT QUITE READY TO LET THEM GO

ISN’T MY CHILD BETTER OFF AT HOME WITH ME?

First of all, breathe, you’re doing the right thing.

Remember why you’re using child care in the first place.

Perhaps you need to head back to work for financial reasons – helping to provide a roof over the heads of your family is a big deal. Or perhaps your career is progressing and your professional life will improve by heading back to work. These are all more than valid reasons for not feeling guilty.

Remember that child care is beneficial for your child. Monique is a child care director with more than 20 years of experience with young children (as well as being a mum of twins). She says:

“Your child is going to be building positive relationships at a child care centre, and that can only be a good thing.”

AM I A BAD PARENT FOR USING CHILD CARE?

We are all just doing the best we can. Remember that child care is beneficial for your child, but also for you too. ‘For the parents it can be a good community experience,’ shares Monique. ‘You’ll be meeting other parents, you’ll be part of the child care community, and reducing the isolation that many parents feel when they stay at home with young children.

Mums and dads need to look after themselves and take care of their wellbeing. In order to do the best you can for your child, you’ve got to be looking after yourself too. To have a child at child care for a couple of days benefits everyone.

It’s going to be less stressful for you if you’ve got some time to do the things you need to do. Whether that’s working, getting thing done at home, putting your feet up, or taking care of other children at home.’

WORRIED ABOUT SENDING YOU CHILD TO CHILD CARE? (CONT.)

AM I A BAD PARENT FOR USING CHILD CARE?

We are all just doing the best we can. Remember that child care is beneficial for your child, but also for you too. According to Monique:

“For the parents it can be a good community experience,’ shares Monique. ‘You’ll be meeting other parents, you’ll be part of the child care community, and reducing the isolation that many parents feel when they stay at home with young children.

Mums and dads need to look after themselves and take care of their wellbeing. In order to do the best you can for your child, you’ve got to be looking after yourself too. To have a child at child care for a couple of days benefits everyone.

It’s going to be less stressful for you if you’ve got some time to do the things you need to do. Whether that’s working, getting thing done at home, putting your feet up, or taking care of other children at home.’

WHAT IF MY CHILD IS REALLY UPSET WHEN I DROP THEM OFF?

The staff at your child care centre are experienced and there to help you. Speak with them about how you are feeling and come up with a plan to make the drop off easier for all.

Monique explains:

“As an educator, it’s my job to keep an eye on children who are finding the drop off difficult. For instance, in my current role I noticed that there were a couple of children who weren’t settling well in the morning.

I made it a point to ask the parents what time they would come so that I could ensure that I was there to meet them to help them transition into the day at child care.

I confirmed that I would be the person to greet their child. After a few weeks those children didn’t need me to do that anymore, but it completely changed their child care experience and they were so much happier.”

WHAT IF MY CHILD HAS TROUBLE MAKING FRIENDS?

There’s nothing like looking forward to seeing a special friend to reduce everyone’s anxiety about a day at child care. Monique explains:

“When they get to child care and they’ve got a pal they’re looking forward to seeing, it makes such a difference to their day. It’s your right as a parent to specifically ask how the educators are going to support and nurture that for your child.”

WHAT IF THE CHILD CARE CENTRE DOESN’T HAVE THE HIGHEST RATING?

For some parents, the child care spot that they’ve accepted isn’t the centre that they had hoped for.

Don’t feel bad if you do have to take a spot at a centre that is only just meeting standards or working towards them. It may well be that you just put your child there for a few months while you wait for a centre that you really like.

Your child is pretty resilient, and if you have to go to work you need to take what you can get. If you have to put your child into a centre that is working towards meeting the standards, go and visit the centre. Ask them which areas they didn’t meet the standards for, and ask them what they’re doing now to address it. Remember they might have been assessed years ago, and a lot can change over the years so maybe they’re actually hitting the mark now but are just waiting for their next assessment.

For instance, it might be that they met all areas except one. If that one is about staffing and leadership, maybe you can overlook it. If the one they’re missing is about health and safety then you’re going to really think twice before accepting a spot there.

You can also ask them when they were last assessed. If you don’t go and ask the questions you might be turning down a spot at a centre that is actually ideal for your child.

If you have a few different centres that you are considering, you can use the free services of child care finder site Toddle to help narrow down your options.

Toddle Toddle has over 13,000 Australian child care centres listed on its directory.

The platform has been designed to provide parents with a child’s view of the child care centre. There’s information on the menus, the programs, the all important outdoor play equipment, and plenty of photos to help you get a feel for the place.

Parents can read reviews, book a tour, and watch videos of the centre too which will help you make your decision.

Visit Toddle today.

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Tips for sending your child to child care when you’re not quite ready to let them go

Lee Price

Lee Price

Lee is a freelance writer, editor and proofreader, writing mum-focused content across health, weight loss, parenting, cooking, fussy eating, meal prep, meal planning and alcohol/sobriety.

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