Early Learning Advice

What To Prepare For The First Day Of Daycare

Meeting teacher at daycare

Is your child about to embark on their first day of daycare? This is a major milestone on their journey in life, but it can also be an emotional and stressful time for parents. That is why we thought we would take a closer look at what you should expect ahead of your child’s first day and what you can do to ensure that you are fully prepared.

What is the importance of getting prepared?

Starting daycare is a big step for your little one, seeing their daily life change. However, as they start their educational journey, it is also a big change for your family. This can mean it is an emotional time, so preparation helps to make sure that their first day of daycare is as smooth as possible.

In the weeks building up to their first day, you will want to ensure that your chosen childcare facility and teachers have the necessary information they need about your loved one. This should include essential information about their wellbeing, such as sleep patterns and social preferences, as well as any family circumstances that might impact them. You should also ensure that the daycare knows any medical issues or food allergies, as well as their toileting requirements, interests and favourite activities.

Of course, it is not just about preparing the daycare facility. You will also want to ensure that your child is as ready as they can be. In the build up to their first day, you should make sure they understand what to expect each day and also prepare them for their new daily routine. To do this, make sure that you are waking them up at the same time, and begin to introduce lunch, nap and play times, too.

You should also have them meet their teacher and educators, ensuring they will already be familiar by the time they start their first day.  

Mother say goodbye with a child at a daycare

What to expect at daycare?

Every daycare facility will have a slightly different routine, so it is always worth discussing with them how an average day will appear. The first day of daycare is always an emotional experience for parents, so it helps to break it down into sections.


You should focus on creating a relaxed and positive morning on their first day. This will help to ensure that your child is happy and excited for the day ahead. On that first morning, and for the first few days, you should give yourself enough time to spend a few extra minutes with your child. This will help to make sure that they feel comfortable in their new surroundings.

Saying goodbye

Of course, there will come a point when you need to say goodbye and let their day begin. This is often the hardest part for parents and children alike, but your daycare centre will be very experienced in this, providing you both with the comfort and support required.

Some children will embrace their new surroundings quickly, while others will need some time, but you can have complete peace of mind that your child is in the best place possible. Separation anxiety is completely normal, though, and it is natural you will feel upset, so do not rush into work that morning and give yourself some time to get yourself together.

How can you prepare your child?

Preparing your child for their first day is very important in making the transition as smooth as possible for them. One of the most effective ways to do this is to regularly talk about the school and what they should expect. When talking about their first day, discuss the drop off routine, the new friends they will meet, their teacher and the experiences they will be able to enjoy.

An orientation visit can also be a great way to help your child understand their new surroundings and who their teachers will be. Some parents even like to practice the routine, getting their child used to waking up in the morning and getting ready for school before taking the journey they will normally take.

First day a daycare

What to bring on the first day?

With your child excited to start their first day of school, the next question most parents ask is what their child will need to bring with them. During the stress and emotions of the day, it can be very easy to forget some items, so to help you, we have put together a packing list for you.

Spare clothes

Every parent will know just how messy children can get. That is why it is always a great idea to pack some spare clothes. This will ensure that if they become dirty from outdoor play, have an accident, or spill paint down themselves, they will be able to quickly get changed. Spare clothes are also great for changing weather conditions, ensuring your child can add more clothes if they are cold etc.


You will also want to ensure that your child has their bottles with them for the day. The familiarity of their own bottle will also help them to feel comfortable throughout the day.

Soft toys

Trying to sleep in a new location can be a big change, so ensuring your child has a familiar soft toy will help to make the adjustment easier.


If your child needs certain medications, then it is vital that you inform the daycare centre first. You will also want to then ensure that these are packed every day.


With so many things to carry, a backpack with multiple compartments is a great way to ensure that your child has everything they need in one place!

Ready to start your child’s journey?

Is your child ready to make that next step? Here at Journey, our mission is to provide your loved one with the very best start to life, creating a fun and inviting atmosphere that will encourage them to explore and develop their knowledge of the world around them.

Want to find out more? Get in touch today!

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