It's great when your childcare arrangements work well, but sometimes you need to make a change, if your child's unsettled or moving on to an older group. We've got advice on helping your child adapt.
There are many reasons for changing childcare arrangements. Here are just some of them:
- Your baby is ready to move to an older babies' room at nursery.
- You move to a new area.
- Your child hasn't settled well
- Your child's three or four and starting a part-time place at nursery and you need someone to look after her in the afternoons only
- Your nanny or childminder leaves
Explain - if she's old enough to understand, explain the new arrangements to your child. Don't take her to visit nurseries or childminders until you're sure which place you'll choose.
Enjoy the move - moving within a nursery shouldn't be too distressing as your child will still be in the same building and the key workers should make the handover as smooth as possible. She'll probably enjoy the change as there'll be toys and activities more suited to her age.
Take the time - if your childminder or nanny decides to leave, she should honour the notice period on her contract. This gives you time to find someone else. If you liked and trusted the carer, ask for her help in finding someone else - word of mouth is a good way of finding a replacement.
Child not happy - if you've noticed signs that your child isn't happy with a carer, you may decide to bring the agreement to an end. She should have settled by the end of the first month, so if she's still crying a lot, has lost her energy, is miserable, or you simply sense that all's not well, trust your judgement. You may feel it's best to pay off the carer's notice period, although it's a major expense if you need to pay someone else for that time too.
Helping your child settle again
Try to ease your child into a new childcare arrangement slowly. You may need to take some time off work to do this. Start with a few hours a day, then an afternoon, then a full day to make it less traumatic.
Make sure you explain all your child's needs to the new carer. Children are usually adaptable and, if the new carer is tuned in to your child's needs, your child should settle quickly into a new routine.
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