Prep Tips for First-Time Child Daycare Attendance

May 2, 2023

If your child is approaching the point where they'll be attending daycare for the very first time, this is often considered a pretty big moment in your lives. A few very simple approaches can help prepare your child for this new experience in robust ways, ensuring they're not surprised or uncomfortable with the new setting they're in and the new things they're seeing. 

At Devlin's Child Development, we're happy to offer caring daycare, preschool and after-school care for children and parents around Sandy - and we're here to help if your child is new to the daycare setting and working to become acclimated. Here are some basic tips and approaches we often recommend to parents in this situation to help their child adjust and become right at home in a daycare setting as quickly as possible.

Make At Least One Visit Ahead of Time

Before your child's first day, you might make a visit to the daycare facility with your little one and take them inside. Show them around, talk about what they can expect throughout the day, and introduce them to any personnel or educators who happen to be there at the time.

If it's possible, try to have this experience several times before their very first day. This will help to get them accustomed to the setting, become familiar with it and build up a sense of comfort and trust with it.

Have Conversations About It

In the days and weeks leading up to their first day, you can also have thoughtful conversations with your child about what to expect. Talk about the people they'll be meeting, the activities they might do during the day and even the meals that will be served.

You can also talk about any concerns your child might have and answer their questions as honestly as possible - this helps them to build up trust and feel more prepared. If they have any particular worries or anxieties, you can also talk through those together.

Consider Shorter Daycare Sessions Initially

Depending on your particular needs and the daycare facility you're using, it's usually helpful to consider shorter sessions when first introducing your child to a daycare setting. You might begin with morning or afternoon sessions for the very first few days, then expand out from there if possible.

This can help children ease into the new situation more slowly and become accustomed to the childcare environment in more natural ways. If they're struggling, it's usually better to extend out the process a bit until they're comfortable.

Bring Something Familiar

Another approach is to bring something from home that your child can keep with them as a reminder. This might be a toy, a stuffed animal or even a small pillow - whatever feels comfortable for your little one and helps to build up trust in the new atmosphere.

Bringing something familiar can also help children handle times of separation more easily if they're feeling a bit emotional or overwhelmed.

Get a Daily Routine Going

As you adjust to your new daycare schedule, try to create a routine for your child that starts in the morning and lasts throughout the day. This might be something as simple as having breakfast together and talking about what the day will bring or looking at pictures of their friends and teachers at the facility.

Another important part of the routine for many parents and children is a goodbye routine when dropping them off. This might be a hug, a kiss, or a special phrase that you can both say together. These kinds of routines help to create predictability and peace of mind for children - as long as they know what's coming next, it makes them feel more secure in the environment.

Know There Will Be Some Anxiety At First

Whether it shows up in terms of being separated from you, being around new people or simply having to adjust to a different environment, it's extremely normal for children to experience some anxiety when first going to daycare.

The key here is to remember that this is normal and try not to place too much pressure on your child while they're adjusting. With patience, understanding and a lot of compassion, you'll both make it through the process and your child will eventually feel a lot more comfortable.

By following these simple approaches, you can help to ensure that your child's very first daycare experience is as positive and successful as possible. With the right amount of preparation and support they’ll be ready to tackle this new challenge with confidence and courage.

And at Devlin's Child Development, we understand the importance of creating a safe and nurturing environment for your little one. Our experienced childcare professionals are committed to helping your child build meaningful relationships, explore their imagination and have fun. Contact us today to learn more about any of our Sandy daycare or child care programs!

We are eager to hear from you! Fill out the form below to schedule your free tour

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Devlins Logo


9310 So, State St, Sandy, UT 84070
Hours of Operation:
Sun Closed
Mon-Fri 06:30 AM - 06:30 PM
Sat Closed
Copyright © 2021 Devlins Child Development Center
envelopephone-handsetmap-markercrossmenuchevron-downarrow-up linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram