Childcare drop off can be rough for children and their parents, and sometimes it can create challenges for childcare teachers. The wails and tears can cause guilt and anxiety feeding into parents and teachers concern about the child’s emotional well-being.
As the teacher, it is your responsibility to make sure every child you are caring for feels secure and calm while in your care. To help make the process a little easier, we’ve created a list of tips to help caregivers work through the challenges of separation anxiety.
Guide the Parents
Teach parents how to talk to their children about the first day of school or childcare before they get dropped off. Provide positive phrases to parents they can say to their children to help prepare them. For infants and toddlers, use a transition object like a favorite blanket or stuffed animal.
Have activities ready to distract the child if he or she is upset after being dropped off. Picture books, new toys and snacks work well. Have the child’s favorite book or toy on hand and begin engaging him or her in the story or play time as soon as the parent leaves. It may be helpful to choose stories explaining that the parent will come back.
Create a Calm Environment
Starting the day with routines and rituals will go a long way to help kids feel secure in the classroom and relieve separation anxiety. Be sure to greet the children at the door every day with a smile, hug or high five.
All young children crave consistency and routine, and having a visual daily schedule will help them feel secure in their new classroom or childcare environment. For the infants and toddlers, they crave consistency as well, so having the same caregiver greet the parent and child at drop-off every day will help.