Tips for Parents when Settling a Child with a Childminder

Settling a child with a childminder can be a huge transition for both the child and the parent/s. Here are some tips to help make this period smoother:

  • Gradual introduction  Begin by introducing the child to the childminder in short visits and gradually increase the duration as the child becomes more comfortable.
  • Positive reinforcement Talk about the childminder in a positive manner after each visit and associate them with fun activities or things the child enjoyed doing. Discuss all the exciting experiences they might have the next time they are with the childminder.
  • Consistency  Maintain a consistent routine when preparing to go to the childminder and when picking up the child. If the childminder uses a visual timeline of their daily routine, parents can show this to the child and discuss it.  This helps to make the child feel secure and understand the structure of their day.
  • Familiarity  Provide the childminder with familiar objects from home, i.e. favourite toy or comfort blanket. It’s a good idea to have two of everything in case one gets lost.
  • Stay calm and positive  Children can pick up on the parent’s emotion and anxiety. Reassure the child when dropping off to childminder.  This will help the child to feel at ease.
  • Goodbye Routine  Be consistent with the goodbye routine when leaving the child.  Even if child is upset, always say goodbye and tell them you will see them soon.  A predictable routine can help ease separation anxiety.
  • Good Communication Establish good clear lines of communication with your childminder. Ensure your childminder is aware of your child’s preferences eg. food, sleep routines, allergies and if a child is out of sorts or had medication in last 12 hours.
  • Patience  Understand that the adjustment period can vary for every child. Some may take longer than others to adjust.
  • Feedback  Ask your childminder to give feedback on the transition and how the child is adapting and settling in.
  • More Tips Childminding Ireland hosted a webinar on ‘Supporting Anxious Children in Childminding Settings’ with Dr Mary OKane. You can read Dr Mary’s tip sheet on our website here.
  • Tips for Childminders Read our top tips for childminders on this transition phase.
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