Transitioning to In-Person Preschool and Daycare – by Arely Angel

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As we get ready to begin our new “normal”, it is very important to prepare our children for the new changes. We have all been living with restrictions for a year now and children have gotten used to a routine. Now it’s time to prepare them once again for going back to school and daycare. In many places, COVID-19 mask mandates and social distancing guidelines are being changed dramatically, allowing for more in-person teaching and daycare options for parents.

Even though children are resilient and can adapt quickly, there is a level of awareness that they must have so that their new environment is not as unfamiliar and scary. Young children can suffer from separation anxiety. This is a normal behavior in young children with healthy attachments. Through the process, your child will start to learn that you will always come back when you leave and also help them develop independence.

You can start preparing your child now, whether it’s for summer camp or school! Start by getting your child into a routine by talking to them about the new changes to schools and daycare. Start getting up earlier and have your child help with packing lunch or snacks. If possible, take them to visit the school or daycare they’ll be attending and tell them about all the new friends they will be making! You can even get your family involved! If your child is reminded often about the exciting changes coming, the transition will be much easier.

It’s imperative for parents to get excited and happy about the new changes! Children are very perceptive and can tell if you are unsure or worried about new changes. Remember that if you’re not prepared to make this change, your children are likely to follow. This process is very difficult for parents as well. It’s important that you prepare yourself by doing research about the place you have chosen for your child. If possible, meet their teacher or have a tour of the classroom. Keep in mind that there may still be COVID-19 restrictions in place, so be flexible and have patience as the school or center may have to make appointments that may not be very convenient for your schedule. Ask as many questions as you can so that your mind is at ease when you drop off your child. Changes can be very difficult for everyone but if you prepare and discuss with your child, the transition will be much easier.

Here at MPCC Preschool, we are gearing up to welcome our Playschool Summer Campers, and we could not be more exited! We’ve arranged our classrooms to meet all the CDC and Department of Education COVID-19 safety guidelines. The safety of staff and guests will always be our number one priority.

We will have 6 weeks of carefully planned activities for your preschooler! 

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. Have a wonderful summer!

Arely Angel is the Lead Preschool Teacher for the City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation. She can be reached at 703-335-8872 or via email at a.angel@manassasparkva.gov

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