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Preparing your child for daycare: Establishing a gradual routine

The transition to daycare can be exciting but also challenging for children and their parents. One effective way to ease this adjustment is to establish a gradual routine before they begin their daycare stay. In this article, we will explore the importance of a gradual routine and provide practical suggestions on how to adjust daily schedules and activities to prepare your child for this significant transition.


  • Start early:

It is advisable to start establishing a gradual routine at least a week before your child starts daycare. This will give them enough time to adjust to new schedules and routines without feeling overwhelmed.

  • Adjust sleep schedules:

Sleep is critical to children's well-being. Gradually advance or delay your child's sleep and wake times to match the daycare schedule. This will help avoid abrupt changes and ensure they are rested and ready for the day.

  • Simulate the daycare routine at home:

Try to recreate some of the activities and routines your child will experience at daycare. For example, set up specific times for independent play, meals and outdoor activities. This will help familiarize him or her with the routines and expectations he or she will encounter at daycare.

  • Visit the daycare before the official start:

Arrange visits to the daycare before your child begins his or her stay. This will allow them to become familiar with the environment, meet caregivers and other children, and reduce anxiety associated with the unknown.

  • Encourage independence gradually:

As you get closer to the start of daycare, encourage your child to perform small tasks on their own, such as getting dressed, brushing their teeth or picking up their toys. This will strengthen their sense of autonomy and give them confidence to face new situations in daycare.

  • Establish a goodbye schedule:

Practice a goodbye routine when you drop your child off at daycare. This can include a hug, a word of encouragement and a promise to come back and pick him or her up later. A consistent and loving goodbye routine will help your child feel safe and calm during your time apart.


Establishing a gradual routine before your child begins his or her daycare stay is key to a successful adjustment. By gradually adjusting daily schedules and activities, you will be preparing your child for the transition and reducing anxiety associated with the unknown. In addition, by learning about Universal Curriculum's subscription plans, you can complement your child's daycare learning experience and provide them with innovative educational tools.


Universal Curriculum offers a wide range of resources, activities and teaching materials based on curriculum standards. You can take advantage of available subscription plans to access enriching content that supports your child's cognitive, emotional and social development. From interactive activities to instructional materials, Universal Curriculum can be a valuable resource for ongoing learning in daycare and at home.


Remember that each child is unique and may adapt differently to daycare. Maintain open communication with caregivers and daycare staff to ensure that the gradual routine fits your child's individual needs. With patience, love and the right support, you will be paving the way for a positive and enriching daycare experience, complemented by Universal Curriculum's educational resources.

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