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(Almost) 5-yr-old still clinging at daycare

Hi, my almost 5 year old still clings to me when dropping him off at daycare. He will hug me so tight and won't let go until he gets cuddled by one of the staff...this is the only way to do changeover. I'm concerned he will still do this when he starts prep next year. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

I too have a boy who isn't a fan of drop off most mornings, so some of the strategies that work for us are: we talk about his educators often at home, on the way to the centre & also on the way home. If we know who the educators are at the centre each morning - sometimes we just ask the Centre Director - we make a point of talking about those educators on the way, so that he can connect with them when we walk in the door. If we find something that may be of interest to share, then we will take that with us. For example the last item was a dead butterfly that we had found on a walk. He proudly showed this to his educators upon arrival, & then of course his peers were also interested, so he was happy to wave goodbye in this instance. We do the same things in sequence when we drop off for example, take lunchbox out of bag, put bag away, put lunchbox away & then grab hat. We talk him through each part of the sequence so that it is predictable. If drop off time frames are tight, we make this clear on the way to the centre, such as 'I can't stay long today' & then we remind him again as we go outside to the educators. We also say the same thing every day 'Love you, have a great day & see you soon then' - making sure that we always do say goodbye, & not sneak away. There is also room here for the centre to start some traditions - can he see you from the fence to wave goodbye as you drive away? Can you do a special toot from the car so he knows you are still thinking about him? As these are things that he may begin to look forward to. The above things are all things that can be continued once he is at school, so you shouldn't have to tweak it much if it works. Check when the centre is going to begin their transition to school visits, & see if there is the option of you attending some of these with him at the same time. Some of the conversations that the teachers at the centre begin to have with children during these transition programs are around what drop off may look like, so perhaps you could work with his current teacher & ask her to begin to focus on some of the thngs you think he may struggle with.

Kylie Romero

Kylie Romero

Early Learning Consultant, Goodstart Early Learning

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