My daycare closed because of the coronavirus. How do I transition to a new one?
First, set up a meeting with the daycare director. If you can’t meet in person, schedule a phone call or a video chat. Compare the daycare’s expectations and daily routine to what your daughter is accustomed to. Small, privately owned daycares may be able to make changes to accommodate her individual preferences. Large center-based daycares may be less able to individualize things given the number of children they care for. However, they may be willing to meet you half-way for a week or two to help ease her into things.
Naptime can be especially challenging. It may take your daughter a little while to adjust to sleeping in a new environment with different sleep conditions (e.g., caregiver presence/assistance vs. more independent sleep at naptime), and potentially to being placed down at a different time of day. You may need to make gradual adjustments to her night-time sleep schedule (especially morning wake time) to slide her daily sleepy-time into the naptime window of the new daycare. If she relies on a transitional object (blanket, stuffed animal) to fall asleep, do NOT forget to send it along during this adjustment period!
The real key is to maintain daily communication with daycare staff to enable both sides to make small adjustments which will allow your child to navigate these changes and learn to thrive in the new daycare environment.
This post was written in the Spring of 2020. Please follow your local guidelines and advice from family health care providers for appropriate, current coronavirus safety measures.