My child is going to childcare next month. Do you think it is better to start off with full day immediately or half day first before changing it to full day? Do we get to stay with them throughout for the 1st week?

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How old is your child? Most childcare centres charge high fees for half day programmes and make it such that there is usually a $100-$200 difference between full day and half day. So I think it is more worthwhile to put your child in Full day. It depends on the policy of the centre on how many days they allow parents to stay. What I did for my kids when they started childcare when they are about 2 years old, was that I started them on half day for the first 3 days (they were on the full day programme). I stayed with them for the first 2 days and I left after a short while on the 3rd day just to get them used to the idea of me not being around all the time. Afterwhich I extended the hours that they are in school slowly over the next few days. They will definitely cry still when I leave but with good communication between the class teachers on how they are doing in school, I was assured that they were in good hands. You can try out what I did as it worked for me. For older children, I guess you can play by ear as they definitely are more independent and confident.

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From my cousin's experience, she enrolled her children in infantcare for the full day session but put them in for half day sessions at first. She noticed that her children were fussier and ate less but soon settled down within 2 weeks of school. Every child adapts differently. Some are more receptive to strangers and unfamiliar environments whereas others are really frightened of new places. You could ask the teacher if you can observe from outside the class. I think it is better to observe your child from outside to let the teachers know your child better.

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For me, I would just opt for full day child care and monitor him for the initial weeks. *If* he finds it difficult to adapt, I would take him out earlier and subsequently leave him for longer periods so that he can adjust accordingly. Also, I guess it helps for the parent to wait until the child starts miggling with other kids before she/he disappears instead of having such a dramatic goodbye at the entrance.

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