Help your staff manage their childcare

help your staff manage their childcare when they return to work from parental leave.

Finding the right childcare is the first hurdle; but don’t underestimate the wrench for your new parents returning to work, of leaving their babies in childcare.  

Often new parents will be left wondering “Is there anything I can do to minimise my child’s separation anxiety when I leave her in childcare?”

Help your staff manage their childcare by offering support

These 3 tips will help your staff prepare for their return to work and reduce separation anxiety for their child.

Seeing your toddler’s distress when you leave for a day’s work can be upsetting, and hardly puts you in the right frame of mind for a happy and productive day’s work! Thankfully, there are actually many things you can do to minimise the upset on both sides, and make this a positive daily event. It’s also a great opportunity to boost your child’s self-esteem and confidence in helping them learn to cope well with another life stage.

  1. Prepare for separation early on, at home.

Playing simple games with babies and toddlers, such as ‘peek-a-boo’ and ‘hide and seek’ will help your baby understand that when he or she cannot see you, that it doesn’t mean you are gone forever, but that you will return. Starting with just hiding for a few seconds, will build the process slowly, and will be fun for both of you. You can also do this by putting favourite toys or teddies out of view and saying ‘bye bye’ and then finding them together

  1. Help your child develop a new, secure ‘attachment’ in his or her childcare.

In order for a child to feel safe and secure, he or she needs to temporarily be able to replace the strong attachment or bond that they have with you; with someone else. This is why most nurseries operate a ‘key worker’ system, and why it is highly recommended that you have several settling-in visits, where you stay with your baby/toddler for long enough for them to form a relationship with their key carer. Resist the temptation to spend all the session playing with them and encourage them to find ways to interact with the carers.

If you have chosen to employ a nanny or childminder, it is clearly easier to form personal relationships quicker (that is, if you have found the right person, and this will be a good test).

  1. Leave positively.

How you react to leaving will have a huge impact on your baby/toddler’s behaviour. You need to give out the message loud and clear ‘I am happy and relaxed about you being here’. Easier said than done in those early days, but start your leaving ‘ritual’ on the way over the nursery/childminder (and as babies and toddlers thrive on routine, this is key). Talk about where you are going and what you both will do in a positive and excited way. It can also help to say the same thing each time, for example, ‘I will come and pick you up after your tea and give you a big cuddle.’

When you are ready to leave, give a quick, firm hug with an ‘I love you’ or ‘have a lovely time’ and leave with a smile on your face without hesitation. It will take practice, but the carers are there to help you.

How you behave towards your child can have a big impact on how they feel about going to their childcare, so even if you do feel dreadful inside, put on the brave face for their sakes. And remember that even very young children are probably more resilient than we give them credit for, so you may find they adapt quicker to the change than you do!

If you would like more information on how to help your staff manage their childcare then please contact us. 

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