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Transition Checklist

Use this guide to ease the transition into a new child care routine

  1. Talk with your child.

    Talk with your child about the new program. Tell them about activities and toys you saw, or the providers and kids you met during a visit. For some children, engaging in playacting about going to the new program can help relieve anxiety and add excitement.

  2. Show comfort.

    Even young children can sense when a parent is anxious. Being positive and confident about your program choice can positively impact your child’s feelings.

  3. Start gradually.

    If possible, visit the program several times with your child ahead of their official start date. Having your child stay with the provider(s) without you for a short amount of time can ease the transition.

  4. Coordinate schedules.

    Learn the new program’s nap and meal routines in advance and adjust your child’s routines if possible.

  5. Take a favorite item.

    A blanket, favorite photo, or treasured stuff animal can comfort your child during time away from you. It’s a good idea to check with the program before bringing an item.

  6. Make drop-off and pick-up a happy time.

    By building a familiar routine, your child knows what to expect when you leave and return. Allow enough time in the morning so no one feels rushed. A special goodbye ritual can be reassuring to both of you. Try to pick your child up at the same time every day.

  7. Take care of yourself.

    Sometimes, a new arrangement is more difficult for parents than for children. Some parents find it reassuring to check in with the program to see how things are going. Here are some tips for Staying Involved with your care program.

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