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4 Ways to make day care drop-off easy at any age

Make your morning routine a little smoother with these helpful tips for dropping your child off at day care.

t Day care drop-off can be one of the most stressful parts of the morning routine. However, with a little preparedness, saying goodbye in the morning can be manageable and even enjoyable. Here are some quick tips to have a great morning drop-off as your child grows.

t baby girl at daycare

Photo credit: Christopher Futcher/Vetta/Getty Images

The baby

t At this stage in the game it’s all about making the morning drop-off easier for you. Leaving your little bundle of joy in someone else’s care can be a difficult adjustment. Take a few minutes to chat with your care providers about any concerns you have and get to know a little bit about them personally. Feeling that they are just as invested in your baby’s well-being as you are will make leaving for the day a little easier.

The toddler

t This is when your child starts voicing his own opinion, and as a result, drop-off gets a little more complicated. Separation does not come easy and tears often flow. Comforting and distracting your toddler is key to getting to work on time. Spend a few moments together at the day care to say goodbye. Give extra hugs, tell a little story or sing a favorite song. Next, have the caregiver involve your child in an activity so you can slip away unnoticed.

The preschooler

t Preschool introduces your child to a whole new world of learning and exploration. Even though your preschooler wants you to see him as a big kid, he doesn’t always love saying goodbye. Find a routine that allows him to retain his independence while still feeling comfortable with you leaving. Have him wave to you from a window as you walk to your car. It’ll make his day to know that you need that last little wave just as much as he does.


The school-age child

t Take note of mixed age groups and established friendships when dropping off your school-age child. Elementary school can be intimidating enough, especially for children in the lower grades. Make sure that the day care staff takes appropriate measures to include your child in activities as soon as she is dropped off. Also, encourage your child to make connections and friendships within her before- and after-school program. She may gain a role model in an older child and someone to look out for in a younger child.

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