Most parents will feel quite uneasy when they drop their child off to daycare for the first time.
It can be hard knowing if he will fit in, if he will have a good time and if you have made the right decision about what daycare to choose in the first place. However, as time goes on, this uneasy feeling may not go away or your child may not be enjoying his environment as much as you expected. Below are some of the most common reasons to change childcare facilities.
1. Not enough structure
Children thrive in a routine and many childcare facilities will follow some sort of routine each day. While their activities will not be set in stone, you may find that they have a certain time everyday for indoor play, reading, crafts, sleeping and eating. What this means is that your child gets used to doing these things at certain times in the day which makes it much easier at home and when the time comes to attend real school. If the kids are running around wild all day everyday, then this may warrant a switch to a more structured setting.
2. Poor food
Some daycare centres will supply all meals while others will only supply morning or afternoon tea. If your daycare facility does offer to supply meals, see what is on the menu every day. What happens at children’s birthdays and other events? If you have a strict no junk food policy, then you may find that the food choices are not suitable.
3. Lack of extra activities
Daycare centres are not just put in place to take care of your child while you are at work or away from them. They are also supposed to supply a stimulating environment for your child and thus most facilities will have extra activities, such as swimming lessons, soccer, dress up days, show and tells and special guests come once in a while to switch up the routine. If the daycare lacks any of these programs, then it might be a good idea to compare it with others and see what your child is missing out on.
4. Incorrect punishment
Daycare teachers will often follow your lead when it comes to handling punishment but they will not hit your child. If they do, then it’s time to switch. Furthermore, you may find that the daycare takes a completely different approach to discipline than you do. If your child is acting out and getting away with it at school, then he will probably expect the same at home.
All children will go through phases from time to time. However, if you find that all the hard work you have been putting in, from toilet training to teaching your child how to respect others, from sharing toys to speaking, is going down the drain, then, it’s definitely time to talk to your childcare provider and possibly make the switch.
6. Long commute
You may need to make the switch if you are driving too far away every day just to pick and drop your child off. If your child is falling asleep in the car on the long drive home, then this could disturb your bedtime routine. Furthermore, if you are spending hours stuck in traffic every week because of the daycare drop, then it might not be worth the effort and the frustration, especially if there is a closer option for childcare.
Finally, if something doesn’t feel right, if your child seems unhappy or if you simply have an uneasy feeling about the facility, then don’t hesitate to make the switch. Even if nothing seems particularly wrong with the daycare, your instincts are always right. So trust them.