Returning to child care after weeks of staying at home will be another transition for young children.
Here are some ideas to consider:
Show excitement as you talk about coming back. Remind them of the things they love about school – the playground, circle time, blocks, art center, etc.
Take a drive by the school, maybe even get out and walk around to let the children know it will be safe for them to go back.
Start a return to a ’school’ schedule about a week before; mirror the schedule we have a school – learning, meals, naps, playtime, physical activity.
Turn off the screens!
Let child help prepare all they need to return like getting backpacks ready, shopping for lunch items online, get nap blanket ready to go…
For older children, 5 and up, it might be useful to begin getting them used to making their own lunches. Find a way to simplify where the items needed for lunch are placed at a low level, take time to explain where everything is located and make sure to consistently replace items and place them back in their place. Children are capable of helping and feeling in control of a little of their lives by participating in the everyday tasks of the day.
Explain what PPE is and demonstrate using a face mask and gloves at home to prepare them.
Practice independent hand washing.
Tell children what is really going on and not a false story about why the child care center had to close.
Remind children that teachers and staff won’t be able to hug them and some favorite activities aren’t offered or allowed at this time.
Tell children what is really going on and not a false story about why the child care center had to close, using simple language that they can understand.
Explain how drop off and pick up will be different for a little while. “Your teacher will meet you at the front door of the school. She will take your temperature real quick before you go to your classroom.”