Starting daycare is a new phase that takes getting used to for sure. Knowing that your child will be away, out of the house, for an entire day can be overwhelming to prepare for. Although there are lists sometimes provided, we often still sit and wonder what else they may need. So, in that spirit, we wanted to do a little preparation support for what to pack for daycare.
Pack Extra Clothes
When you pack for daycare, you may be told to bring extra clothes. If you aren’t, do so. You never know if your child may have an accident (if they are still young), spill something, or make a mess during arts and crafts. Rather than them sitting in wet socks, or you trekking all the way back, just have a bag packed with a spare everything: shirt, pants, socks, and underwear. You can place it in their pack, or pass on to the daycare provider to keep there for whenever they need. This includes extra diapers, if they are not potty-trained.
Pack an Extra Snack
Some daycares the lunch is provided and some snacks, and in some cases you may need to do the packing of all food. Whatever the case, ensure to throw in a little extra (just in case snack). Even if snacks are provided, you just never know if your child will get a little extra hungry, or if they are feeling like something from home. Ensure that you check the policy and bring a healthful snack that is allowed on premises, and the provider knows it is there (if the child is too young to communicate).
A Family Photo Should Be Provided
This may seem unnecessary, but when reading a lot of “prepared things to bring” lists, a family photo was very often included. This can be in the case of an emergency, so the child has a comforting picture, or simply to keep on file so that caregivers are familiar with all the faces of the family that may be coming to pick up the child. Either way, include names and relations on the back of the photo with a contact.
Whatever you pack, clothes, containers, toys…label, label, label. Yes, label even the underwear. It is not difficult to get things confused when the ratio is 8:1 or more, and it’s not rare for kids to go home win a different pair of pants than ones you sent. So, label their belongings clearly.
Ask if Personal Belongings are Allowed
Before bringing in own toys and books, do ask if this is allowed. If so, it may be a good idea to pack a favourite toy, or security blanket, or a stuffed animal that they nap with. Doing so allows them to feel they have a piece of familiarity with them, at least for the beginning. You may notice this subsides as the child grows, or gets used to daycare.