tips for transitioning into child care

How To Prepare Your Child For The After-school Child Care Program

If you and your spouse both work, chances are good that you will need to take advantage of an after school child care program once your kid gets to school age. But this could also be a big transition for your child if he or she is not used to interacting with new people. Hopefully going to school will help get your child acclimated a bit, but there are still additional things you can do to prepare your child for an after-school program. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Encourage Your Child to Be Friendly to New People

Many young children are shy, but that doesn't mean you can't get them to come out of their shell with a little practice. Try scheduling a play date with your child and the neighbor's kid. Perhaps you could even reach out to parents who already have young children at an after-school center and schedule a play date with them before your child's first time there. That way, your kid will already have someone they know when they first arrive at the after-school program.

Create an After School Routine

Let your child know what's going to happen when school lets out. Many schools work hand in hand with local after-school programs. There might even be a bus that shows up to the school to take the children directly to the after-school center so that parents don't have to leave work to do so. There might also be an adult chaperone who will make sure your child gets to the center, but you should still go over the after school routine with your kid. Teach them how to pack up their backpack when the final bell rings and go directly to the bus with other students. It might help if you know of other kids at your child's school who are also going to the center. Then, you can get them to ride the bus together or get another parent you trust to drive your kid there. Once at the center, make sure your kid knows the importance of following the rules and doing their homework. 

Practice Being Quiet

After school programs typically offer an opportunity for your child to run around and have fun, but there will also likely be a "nap time", "quiet time" or "homework time" involved. If your child is usually bouncing off the walls after school, get them to practice being quiet for 15 or 30 minutes at a time so that they are used to this at the after-school program.

Contact an after-school child care program today for more tips.