Preparing for Childcare
Here at McKernan Child Development Centre it is our goal to provide a warm
and inviting atmosphere that mimics a family environment. It is our intention
to work with you to build your child’s skills and develop a lasting relationship
outside the home. To help us in this, here are some tips to prepare your
child for the transition to childcare:
- If your child is capable of understanding, talk with them openly about
going to childcare-what it will be like, what they will do there, etc.
Explain that you will be going to work and will return at the end of the
- Decide if you wish to stay for a few minutes at the centre to engage
your child in an activity or if you will not do this. Commit to your
decision and follow through consistently.
- Visit the childcare (even for a couple minutes or a tour) prior to starting, so
your child knows what to expect visually.
- Keep a similar routine at home--our naptime is at 12:30-2:30pm. On days
leading up to your start and on days you are away from the childcare,
have your child prepare for nap or quiet time at this time.
- Some children benefit from having a photo from home in their
backpack to keep with them.
- Come prepared with all the items listed in your parent handbook. Ask
our educators if you have any questions.
- Keep a consistent routine. If you plan to use care from 7:30-3:00, keep
that routine daily. This will help your child to anticipate what routines
they will be a part of and when you will return, as well as help them to
be more secure.
- Maintain open communication with the educators regarding your child.
- At drop off, say good-bye and tell them you will be back (even if they
cry) then leave. Our educators are trained to comfort children and help
them to adjust. This will build trust; they will begin to understand
that they must stay and it will be OK.
- Prepare yourself! If your child sees that you are comfortable leaving
them at childcare, they will be too.
Here are some books you may wish to look at together:
- The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
- Don’t Forget to Come Back by Robie Harris
- I Love you all Day Long by Francesca Rusackas
Daily Schedule (varies slightly per age group)
7:30am-9:30am - Welcome and free play
8:30am-9:30am - Morning snack. Children are free to choose when they wish to eat snack during this time.
9:30am-10:00am - Clean up, a circle time, toileting/diaper changes, and get dressed to go outside.
10:00am-11:30am - Outdoor time. Cohort 1 in backyard, cohort 2 either in the field or on a community walk/park. Each cohort alternates days so only one cohort is in the back yard at one time. Our outside time is flexible based on interest of children and weather. If classrooms cannot go outside, we have a gym with gross motor activities that are available.
11:30am-12:30pm - Lunch. Toileting and diaper changes after children eat.
12:30pm-2:30pm - Quiet time/nap time
2:30pm-3:30/4pm - Free play
2:45pm-3:15pm - Afternoon snack
3:30/4:00pm - Toileting/ diaper changes, clean up and get dressed to go outside. All classrooms close and we go outside together.
3:30pm-5:30pm - Children are picked up at different times.
We look forward to seeing you and your child soon!