Starting Day Care – A Major Transition

Transitions are a major milestone – from home to the day nursery, to preschool, or to an afterschool care centre. For both parents and children, starting day care means the first separation from the familiar home environment. Parents want to be sure that their child has a good transition into the day care centre.

For this reason, all WABE day care centres follow the same principles and rules:

• Our professional expertise and experience is the basis for the transition.
• The transition time is always individual for each child, and takes into account his or her background and history, personality and the parent-child relationship.
• Openness and cooperative partnerships between parents and teachers are a matter of course at WABE.
• During the transition phase, parents are the child’s "anchor".
• Separation anxiety is alleviated together through dialogue and communication.
• After the transition period is complete, a joint discussion and reflection process take place.

Our day care centres apply individual concepts during the transition period — an example:

1. Introductory "get to know you" phase

• Preliminary discussion with parents about the length of and approaches to the transition
• Trial day

2. Basic phase

• Minimum transition period: 2-3 weeks (flexible)
• Child is accompanied by parent for at least 3-7 days
• Establish transition rituals
• Start bonding with primary teacher 

3. Final phase

• The parents leave for 10-30 minutes. They stay away a little longer each day.
 • When the parents return, the child leaves the day care centre. The child should learn: time without parents = time to play.

The 10 Golden Rules for My Transition

Dear Mom and Dad,

1. As I start day care, you can help me the most by telling me at home what all awaits me at my day care centre.
2. It is important that you are convinced that going to day care is good for me.
3. At the beginning, it will reassure me if I know that you will stay with me during this time.
4. I want to decide on my own, when and who I want to play with. Maybe I need some time to watch the other children first and get used to the new environment.
5. When you leave, be honest with me: Telling me the truth is better than raising false hopes.
6. Even if I cry, please keep the goodbyes short – I will certainly be comforted!
7. If you are worried, just call the day care centre 10 minutes later. I’ll probably have already been playing for a while by then.
8. If I’m not doing well, my teachers will call you.
9. So that I can settle in well, it is important that I go to the day care centre regularly. If there are interruptions – especially during the first days – I have to start getting used to it all over again.
10. If I feel comfortable at the day care centre and want to keep playing, that means I have taken a step forward in life, but not a step away from you – I love you just as much as before!

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