Adjusting to Our Program
There is always an adjustment period whenever a child enters a new child care environment. Each individual child adjusts in his/her own way and the length of the adjustment period varies. Children need time to become accustomed to the new adults, the other children, and to learn the routine of the classroom. There are several things that parents and teachers can do to help a child adjust:
- Parents should visit the classroom, at least once, with their child prior to the first full day of attendance. Plan to spend some time playing with your child in the classroom during your visit, but also step back as your child begins to feel more comfortable, allowing him/her the opportunity to interact with teachers and children.
- Talk about school positively with your child and refer back to things that you saw or did during your classroom visit and the people that you met.
- When you arrive in the morning plan extra time for settling your child into the classroom. Walk your child into the room, greet the teacher and hang up coats, etc., in the child’s locker (it will be labeled). Look around the room and find an activity that seems to interest your child. Establishing a routine right from the start will help your child feel comfortable and safe because he/she will know exactly what to expect each day.
- When it is time for you to leave the classroom, tell your child what is happening; i.e.”I need to go to work. Have fun and play today and I will see you after snack and outdoor play time.” Then give your child a hug or kiss and leave. It is important at this point to leave quickly and not return to the classroom, as your return may prolong this difficult time for your child. The teachers are ready at this point to help with the separation and will hold and comfort a crying child or help him/her become engaged in an activity. The teacher will reassure your child that you will be back. Teachers also reaffirm the internalized image that your child has of you by talking about you during the day, and suggesting something be saved to show or give to you.
- You are welcome to call the center and check on your child; we will transfer your call to the classroom if a teacher is available to step away and speak with you briefly on the phone. If a call cannot be transferred we may ask you to call back or take a message and have one of the teachers call you back when they are able.
- Visits during the day are encouraged providing they do not upset your child. Sometimes it is difficult for children to re-separate from their parents after the school day has begun. Parents are encouraged to utilize the observation booths between each classroom. These are equipped with two-way mirrors and allow you to observe your child in the classroom without your child ever knowing you were here!