The Coronavirus pandemic has provided its fair share of challenges to parents across the UK. In March, it forced thousands of nurseries and childcare centres to close their doors in fear. Almost 6 months later, these same nurseries are beginning to reopen, leaving parents concerned and confused about their children’s safety.
Rest assured, feelings of anxiety, stress and worry are completely normal - I struggle with this myself. And while concerns for your child’s well being may be on your mind, there are ways you can manage these stressors, providing a seamless transition back to daycare for you and your little one.
Adjusting to a strange new environment
For some children, this may be the first instance of attending a nursery at all and for others, there may be concerns surrounding the strangeness of this new normal that they are returning to.
The difficulties faced by young children transitioning back into an unfamiliar setting where social distancing, hyper-sensitive sanitation and other measures will be enforced can prove challenging for carers and children alike.
You may find yourself wondering how your child will cope with the transition back to nursery or be feeling guilty about sending them back as the virus continues to remain active.
The best way to combat these feelings is to stay informed and up-to-date on the procedures and precautions being implemented at your child’s nursery. Many nurseries are ramping up their cleaning and hygiene procedures and managing small and consistent groups of children to reduce risk.
Communicating regularly with your daycare provider can help to answer the questions that are continually running through your head and set you and your child up for a more successful return.
Appreciate your time at home
The closing of nurseries and childcare forced parents everywhere to adapt to an environment that required the juggling of work, household responsibilities and caring for children - all in the same place.
While it may have been nice to get more face time with your children, it’s no secret that productivity in your career and caring for your children don’t really go hand-in-hand.
When your children return to nursery, instead of worrying, sink that energy into your job. Focus on big projects, dedicate time to work you’ve been putting off and savour your breaks. Without children in the house interrupting your conference calls and concentration - you may be surprised at how much you are able to accomplish.
Capitalise on family time
While you may feel on edge about sending your child back to nursery, it can provide more opportunities to enjoy your time together as a family. When you drop your children off, you can prioritise ticking off the items looming on your to-do list, but when you pick them up, you can focus on spending time together as a family.
It’s completely fine to worry about the challenges you may face during this time, but remaining a strong family unit canhelp make the transition back to nursery much more manageable.