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Preschool Education Articles

Before your child's first day

Prepare your child. Talk to your child about what child care will be like. Even if your child is a toddler, children can usually understand clear explanations. Point to the calendar and talk about what days of the week are work days for you and child care days for him or her. Talk about whether he or she will eat and nap there. Your happy positive attitude and calm voice will help your child know this will be a good place to stay.

Read and look at picture books about child care. Some books show and tell about a day in a family child care home or center. Others deal with feelings a child might have about being away from a parent or playing with other children.

Prepare yourself. Learn about quality child care. Call your county Cooperative Extension Service office and DHS office to receive materials on child care. These materials can help you find a quality child care provider that is best for you and your child.

Before the first day:

  • Visit the child care program so you can tell your child about it.

  • Take your child for a short visit so he or she can see where children play, eat, and nap.

  • Invite your child care provider to visit you at home. She or he, you, and your child can get to know each other.

  • Invite another child who is in the same program to play with your child. He or she will have at least one "friend" on the first day of child care.


Cohen, M., Will I Have a Friend?, New York: Aladdin Books, 1967. Buy Now

Conlin, S. and L. Friedman, Nathan's Day at Preschool, Seattle: Parent Press Inc., 1991. Buy Now

Essenberg, P. E., You're My Nikki, New York: Dial Books, 1993. Buy Now

Oxenbury, H., All Fall Down, New York: MacMillan, 1987. Buy Now

Tompert, A., Will You Come Back for Me?, Morton Grove, Illinois: Albert Whitman & Co., 1985. Buy Now

Tweedie , P.S. (1996). " Before your child's first day." In Beginning Child Care: CCA 125. Stillwater, OK: Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service.


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