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How to combat separation anxiety when your child starts pre-school

Our Fairfield daycare centre represents one of the best and most trusted pre-schools in the area. If you’re wondering “where is the best pre-school near me?”, we’re ready and waiting to pick up your call!


As with all early learning centres, however, our families often experience separation anxiety at the beginning of term. This is totally natural, and nothing to be worried about. Over time, your child will adapt to their new environment and learn to socialise with a group of peers. In the long term, this will produce lasting developmental benefits.

If your child is gearing up to start pre-school and you’re hoping to make the transition as smooth as possible, we’ve put together some top tips below.

How to ease your child’s anxiety


Here are some tried-and-tested techniques for reducing separation anxiety in kids:


1. Create a unique goodbye ritual

Kids love routine and will feel more comfortable heading into pre-school if you create a fun goodbye ritual. This could mean anything from a kiss on the cheek to a full-blown dance – don’t be afraid to show off your silly side! Just make sure that you perform the same gestures every time, so your kid knows what to expect. Once you’ve said goodbye, don’t linger at the gates – this could increase anxiety in your child.

2. Bring a comforter

It’s perfectly acceptable to bring a familiar object to pre-school while your child is settling in. Comforting items could include a blanket, a plush toy, or an old item of clothing.


3. Don’t be afraid to talk about daycare with your child

Some parents avoid talking about what to expect on the first day of pre-school as they’re worried it will scare their kids. However, young children often experience anxiety and stress when confronted with the unknown. Telling your child what is going to happen on their first day will reassure them that pre-school is safe and fun, therefore avoiding any last-minute tantrums!

4. Ease your child into pre-school on a part-time basis

If practical, it may be worth easing your child into daycare by starting off on a part-time schedule. This strategy will ensure your child doesn’t feel overwhelmed by new experiences.


Advice for calming parental nerves


Are you feeling anxious about leaving your kids with a group of strangers? We completely understand! Many people focus solely on mitigating kids’ separation worries, completely overlooking the emotions many parents feel when taking their children to pre-school for the first time. Fortunately, there are plenty of strategies you can try to calm your nerves, including:

1. Research daycare thoroughly


When asking yourself the question “what is the best daycare near me?”, you must ensure you conduct thorough research. Remember to ask plenty of questions about health and safety protocols and curricula before settling on a provider. You should also try to visit the centre before making a commitment and spend time getting to know the staff members. Placing your child in the hands of people you know you can trust is by far the best way to reduce first-day nerves.


2. Don’t be afraid to check in if you’re worried

If you’re feeling worried about your child during the first few weeks of daycare, don’t be afraid to check in with teachers and care assistants at the end of the day. They’ll be able to tell you how well your child is settling and what kind of new skills they’re learning. If your child is struggling in any way, the care providers will probably have plenty of sage advice up their sleeve, particularly if they’ve been working in the sector for a long time!


3. Write a list of items to pack

Try not to pack your child’s daycare bag just before you set off in the morning – you’re bound to forget something vital! Instead, write a careful checklist in the evening before the drop-off to give yourself time and space to remember everything. Possible items to pack may include extra clothes, pacifiers, lunches, snack foods, and sunscreen.


4. Be ready for tears


Your child may shed a few tears during the first weeks of pre-school. While this may seem worrying, it’s a perfectly normal stage of growing up! Rather than feel guilty, remind yourself that pre-school represents a vital milestone in your child’s development and that you’re setting them up to enjoy a happy, productive future!


Get in touch with Imaginations Pre-school today!


If you’re wondering “where’s the best childcare near me?” and live in or around Fairfield, we’d love to hear from you. Our Fairfield daycare centre is amongst the most trusted in the area and we’re always keen to welcome new children to our growing group of little learners. Get in touch if you’d like to discuss our options or arrange a short visit to our site.