How to ease childcare transitions? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-31-2004, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Our nanny is going to be leaving in about two weeks. She's been taking care of dd during working hours since dd was 3 months old (dd is almost 3 years old now). While I do most of my work from home, and thus am available to dd during the day and spend time with her, nurse her, put her down for her naps, etc, she's of course attached to our nanny.

Dd has been told by both me and Kate (our nanny) that Kate will be leaving soon. Dd hasn't ever said much in response when asked if she understand, or how she feels about this, other than to say "I want to spend more time with you, Mommy" (I'll be taking a visiting scholar position starting in September, and am taking advantage of an opportunity to cut back on my work in the meantime, so dd will go to Montessori in the morning and I'll be caring for her from noon on during the summer - dd also knows about this).

I know dd cares about Kate and will almost certainly miss her. Has anyone else been through this? Does anyone have any suggestions on how to ease the transition?
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Old 04-01-2004, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
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You can't seriously tell me that no one here has dealt with this issue in the past!! Hasn't anyone here had a child care provider whom one's child really liked, and who eventually had to leave?
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Old 04-02-2004, 12:27 PM
 
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I'm sorry, I haven't. I just wanted you to know we're not ignoring you...

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Old 04-02-2004, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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That's ok. It just seems like someone here must've gone through this before! I mean, has everyone stuck with the same dcp, unless the dcp was bad for some reason or other? No dcp has ever moved away? Closed? Left the business? Changed professions? Been let go so your child can start preschool?
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Old 04-02-2004, 01:08 PM
 
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We had to transition when our son was about two. Our previous daycare closed all of a sudden and we had a whopping two days to find somewhere new.

He was to start at the new place three days after being at the old one,so we knew this could be tough. The new place looked totally different and had very different rules and programming than the previous one.

His first week or two were rough. He was difficult to put down when we got to his new room. He didn't eat well and in the beginning was very difficult to get to take a nap. They have a lights out policy in the center from 12:30 until 3:30. Actually, it is so relaxing that when I had to pick him up early, I wanted to pull up a matt and go to sleep. He insisted on nursing in the second we got into the car.

Fortunately, the woman who was in charge of his room was a very experienced provider and also a mom of four of her own, so she had a few tricks up her sleeve. For naptime, she actually would cuddle up with him and that really helped him sleep. Since we co-slept I thought it was a perfect solution. If I had to pick ds up while it was still nap time, you could always find her crashed out with the kids holding one in one arm and another in the other. She was able to get him used to the nap schedule in about a week. The eating thing took a little longer.

I think at your daughter's age, playing up the new school and all the fun things they do could help. We have a special backpack that we put his lunch and anything else he needs to take to school that day in. We also take his three babies (three beanie babies) that he sleeps with at home to school everyday so he has them for nap. So, you might let her take one of her friends to school everyday or until she feels she doesn't need the friend anymore to help with the transition. If there is time to do a few visits that could help also. Go in with her for a visit or two so she can see everything, then do a visit where you leave her for about an hour or two while the kids do an activity so she can see how they do things.

Good luck with the transition. I think really our trasition was tougher for me than him. For about a month when I dropped him off at the new place I spent a few minutes being very sad in the car before being able to drive off.
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Old 04-02-2004, 06:17 PM
 
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My aunt kept my dd from 6 mos. to 2 years and then she ended up watching her two grandkids in addition to my dd and it became quite a handful. Switching dcp was hard on my aunt and me, funny thing was, when she told me she couldn't watch dd anymore, I had already told her that I was thinking of putting dd in a day care. So it was pretty much a mutual thing. Trying to find a dcp was hard b/c I would then be putting my child into the hands of strangers, but when I did find one that I liked, I was able to take off work a couple of days to help w/the transition. I would just work half days for the first couple of days and then full time the last two days just to get her adjusted. In all honesty, I had a harder adjustment then my dd. She stayed there for a year and then when I was trying to find a nice pre-K program, I checked out the YMCA Day Care in my area and they had a full-time opening so I took it. When I changed her to the Y, her first day was the middle of the week so it wouldn't be such a long week for her in a totally new setting. Now she is 4 and has been there for about 3 mos. and her first visit there she did not want to leave when I came to pick her up. I think all the activities really helped with the transistion that the new day care offered.
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Old 04-02-2004, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, everyone! I'll be spending the first several days with dd at the Montessori (I was very glad that they encourage it), and have been talking with her about all the fun things she'll be able to do. She's been to the center a couple times now, and has interacted with the class she'll be in, as well.

We'll here's keeping my fingers crossed that it goes smoothly.
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Old 04-02-2004, 07:55 PM
 
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Hi Marlena,

No personal experience to share but my favorite parenting book (Becoming the Parent You Want to Be) mentions this transition. One suggestion is to make a gift for the DCP before she leaves, as a way to get DD talking about the transition, what she loves about Kate, the fun times they have had together, etc. One example might be a "book" with pictures and notes. Now that I'm thinking about it, it might be fun to have DD and Kate do that together and they could trade books so DD ends up with a gift from Kate. I know this isn't a super practical suggestion and I have *no idea* how it would work in practice, but I think it would be good to acknowledge the loss of Kate while emphasizing the excitement and new experiences at the preschool.

All the best,
Erin
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Old 04-03-2004, 10:29 AM
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No experience here either but my son will be leaving his long loved care provider for kindergarten and a new day care in Sept. Actually I'm hoping we can start the day care early so he won't be adjusting to both on the same day. I'm really dreading it because he has said he doesn't want to go. He doesn't like change but his current care provider lives quite far from his school so unfortunately this is the way it's got to be. Please let us know how it goes for you and your dd!
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