Help me manage the transition to daycare!
August 31, 2010 9:56 AM Subscribe
My 17-month-old is starting daycare for the first time. Should we send her for two, or three days per week? And what changes should I expect in her personality or our relationship as a result of this?
posted by Bardolph to Education (16 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
First of all, a disclaimer: apologies for the beanplating about all this. I realize my kid will probably be fine regardless, but have not yet managed to shed all that initial OMG-MUST-GET-THIS-EXACTLY-RIGHT-THE-SLIGHTEST-MISSTEP-SPELLS-DOOM new-parent anxiety.
Until now, my kid has stayed at home full-time, being looked after by a parent, relations or full-day babysitter. Very soon, though, she'll need to start going to daycare either two or three days per week from ~8:30-4:30 or so. We've found an in-home situation run by a grandmother who seems nice; there are five other kids who go there (most ~3-4 years old, one infant). It's a little small and dark, but there's a big yard and the provider seemed the kindest and most responsible of the people we interviewed.
My daughter is currently fairly quiet, gentle and even-tempered, VERY well-behaved, and not boisterous or destructive at all. She's whip-smart, curious, and has a great relationship with her dad and me. I'm worried that these things will change when she goes to daycare. I'm also worried, obviously, that she'll have a miserable time and be scarred for life. I've combed obsessively through the Ask Moxie archives and dipped into various abominably-spelt Babycenter posts, but I still have just a few questions, if anyone who's been around this block wouldn't mind chiming in:
1. I work from home, so we have a bit of flexibility where timing is involved. Is there any compelling reason to opt for three vs. two days per week of daycare? Three seems like a lot (almost 50% of the week!), but will only two days make it harder for her to adjust and get into the swing of things?
2. Is 8:30-4:30 too long a day for a kid this age? The provider charges by the day, so shortening the hours would be expensive and inefficient, but it could be managed.
3. Lastly, with the understanding that every child is unique, what changes can I expect to see in my daughter as we navigate this transition? Any tips for avoiding the more unpleasant ones?