By Nzube Maduako
One year after taking a break from work to be a full-time stay at home mum and, complete my postgraduate studies, I decided it was time to get back to work. This meant that I had to send my one-year-old daughter to daycare. It was a first for both of us- the first time being leaving her with strangers. I also wasn’t sure how she will take it but it was a necessary move that I had to make.
Fast forward to the 1st week of September, I took that leap and though it wasn’t easy as I had anticipated, we did it. If like me, you are dreading that daycare drop-off, here are a few tips that worked for me.
Tips to make that daycare drop off easier
1. Research about the daycare:
Before settling for the daycare, my husband and I discussed the several options available to us. We also considered proximity to the house and to our place of business. After which we did our research on the most preferred options by doing the following;
- Surveying the environment for safety measures
- taking trips to the day-cares at mid-day just to see how the children were being taken care of.
- Meeting with the day-care heads to find out details such as the opening and closing time as well as the caregiver-child ratio.
2. Be honest with your children:
Sneaking away after dropping the children off only breeds distrust. Therefore, this was not an option for me. I did well to inform my daughter that I was leaving her at the daycare for a few hours and will be back to pick her up. When you do this, they may not quite understand initially and even cry. But it is still a better option than sneaking away. Gradually, they will get used to the routine.
3. Start small if you can:
I was very lucky to have a sister who also has children here in Lagos. Therefore, when my daughter was 6 months old, I started dropping her off at my sister’s place for about 2 hours daily. As she grew older, I increased the time. I believe that this helped her to blend in with other children when she finally started day-care.
No one said it is going to be easy but I hope that you find these tips helpful.