Sending a young child to daycare is rarely an easy choice for parents. First, there is the quest to find a suitable daycare in Surrey and then the transition into daycare. But after, there often comes the worry that the parent-child bond will somehow be affected by being cared for by someone other than their parents.
From the moment they are born, infants are hard-wired to gravitate towards one or two adult caregivers, generally their parents. But what happens when other caregiver figures, like daycare centre workers, are introduced into the equation?
Numerous studies into the effects of daycare and child attachment have found that factors such as the quality of the daycare centre and home and family life held more influence over the parent-child attachment than simply whether a child attends non-parental care.
That said, there are activities that parents can engage in at home to help maintain the parent-child bond. Here are six ways to support parental attachment while your child attends daycare.
1. Start with Strong Parent Attachment at Home
Parents are a child’s first and most important compass in forming relationships. You can support health attachment at home by fostering connections with family, friends, and other trusted adults.
2. Demonstrate Trust with Your Day Care Provider
Children take cues from their parents. When entering a non-parental care centre situation, it is important to show your child that the daycare centre staff are trusted, caregivers. This will not affect the parent-child bond but will help to make your daycare centre feel like a safe place for children.
3. Make Sure the Day Care Centre is an Inviting Space
Parents often assume high-end daycare facilities equate with high-quality care. While daycare centre amenities are an important factor, the warmth and attention from caregivers will have the most impact on your child. Ensure the daycare centre in Surrey that you choose has regular, long-term staff who genuinely love caring for children; these will be important relationships for many years.
4. Understand That Maintaining Various Relationships is Not Mutually Exclusive
Transitioning into a daycare centre and seeing your child form strong bonds with their caregivers can often leave parents feeling like their parent-child bond has been diminished. Children are capable of developing bonds with multiple caregivers, and none will replace that of the parent; the two are not competing but instead cooperating.
Caregivers can work on supporting the parent-child bond by talking positively about parents; likewise, parents can help caregiver relationships by speaking highly of them.
5. Reduce the Morning Rush
There is no doubt that mornings can be hectic. Between preparing yourself for the and getting small children ready to go, there is often very little time left to spend engaging with our kids. Experts suggest waking 10 minutes earlier than needed and using that time to ease into the morning routine. Some families might use this time for extra cuddles or simply connecting through conversation.
6. Give Your Child a Keepsake to Make with Them
No matter how well your child adjusts to daycare, there will be times when they miss their parents. You can help maintain the child-parent bond by giving your child a small memento to hold during the day. It could be something small like a photograph, a note, or a favourite stuffed animal to keep in their backpack or something invisible like the popular Invisible String book, which speaks to children about the unbreakable bonds of love.