The first day of daycare is exciting, but it can also be stressful. Helping your child adjust to a new environment, preparing for unforeseen emergencies, saying goodbye, and the new ongoing costs are all things you need to plan for. Luckily, there are ways to ease this transition, including applying for BC Early Childhood Tax Benefit.
To help parents like you with the cost of daycare and other expenses associated with raising a child, with the BC Early Childhood Tax Credit you can qualify to receive up to $660 annually – tax free. Now that you can focus less on costs, you can focus on what’s really important: preparing for your first daycare drop-off.
Visit the daycare early
Visit the daycare centre at least once with your child before their first day. This not only increases your child’s familiarity with the centre, but it also gives you and your little one an idea of what to expect. Your child can get used to the daycare space with you nearby for comfort and security. Then, when you drop them off for the first time, they won’t be left in a completely unfamiliar environment.
Explain what will happen
Children are incredibly perceptive and if you’re anxious about their first day of daycare, they’ll pick up on it. By explaining to your toddler what daycare is and what they can expect on their first day, you’ll prepare them for the change. Answer their questions and show them you’re confident in the daycare and the caregivers. The more they understand their new routine, the better.
Set your routine ahead of time
Changing schedules to allow for daycare is a big enough adjustment, but adding in a change to wake-up times and breakfast plans can throw off your routine. If possible, start your new morning routine at least a week (or more) before the start of daycare. That way, you and your little one will already be used to waking up and getting dressed at a new time.
Prepare the night before
If you have to send a diaper bag or extra snacks, pack them the night before and make sure to leave enough time for little delays so you won’t be late. If no setbacks occur, you’ll have a few extra minutes to play before you leave. With the stress of leaving your child at daycare, you don’t need to make the morning even more hectic by being unprepared.
If your child is crying or anxious, it helps to stay as calm as possible. If you seem unsure or upset, your toddler will pick up on that. Once you’ve said goodbye and left, don’t come back until pick-up time. This will show your child that this is a normal and safe situation and that they have nothing to worry about. It also establishes a routine, which all children need in their lives.
The first day at daycare is a new opportunity for your child, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy, especially for parents worried about being able to pay for it. To find out if you’re eligible for the BC Early Childhood Tax Benefit and to learn about other programs you might be eligible for, visit gov.bc.ca.