For little ones who have not previously attended daycare, making the transition to preschool can be difficult. Spending time away from home can be a big adjustment, as can learning how to play with friends. Here are some steps you can take to help make the transition a bit easier on your child and on yourself.

Practice With Play Dates

You can start preparing your child for the transition by arranging play dates at the homes of friends or family members. Discuss your plans with the parents ahead of time and arrange to drop your child off. The adults should be prepared for some teary moments or tantrums after you leave, so it's important to be upfront about this issue and the reason for the visits. After a few short play dates, you may find that your child is more willing to let you leave instead of staying with you.

Tour The School Several Times

Showing your child the preschool once can help your child get excited about preschool, but touring several times can make it easy for your little one to envision being there every day. Ask the school if it would be possible for your child to arrive at snacktime or lunchtime. This can help introduce your child to the other students without interrupting classes. The more familiar your child becomes with the classroom, the easier the transition can be.

Establish A Morning Routine

Consider establishing your morning preschool routine a few weeks in advance. This routine should consist of waking your child up at the same time each morning and going through the motions of eating breakfast, getting dressed, and brushing teeth. Do all the things you would normally do to get your child ready for school, even if you aren't going anywhere for the day. This can help make mornings easier when it is time for your little one to start preschool.

Create Things To Look Forward To

You may find that your child doesn't want to go to school in the beginning. This can be perfectly normal, but you will still want your child to attend preschool every day. Come up with things for your child to look forward to after school each day. This might be watching a movie at home with mom and dad or having a favorite meal for dinner. Give your child the good news in the morning as you get ready or during drop-off. You may find that the extra motivation is enough to keep your little one excited throughout the day.

To learn more about preparing for daycare, contact preschool programs in your area.