5

Our in-home daycare provider gave us her 2 weeks notice on Wednesday, completely out of the blue. Now that her youngest is a senior in high school, she's found a 9-5 job. To top it off, her holiday schedule means that we have 2 more days with her (Dec 28 & 29th) due to many days off.

We have a 17 month old girl who has been going 5 days/week since she was ~3 months old. We also have a 4 year old boy who went 5 days a week until this year, when he started preschool 4 days/week but still did daycare 1 day/week. Both kids absolutely adore our daycare lady.

We haven't yet told our oldest about the change, hopefully until we have a firm plan. Ideally he'll be able to do preschool on the 5th day as well, though it would be in a different class. And with the holidays, we may not have a firm answer before his school break starts next Friday. Our youngest may start going to his preschool as well, or we will find another in-home provider for her.

We want him to start being able to process this, but without introducing too much anxiety of "we have no idea what the plan is yet". Our youngest is too young to really discuss it with, but we'd like to help her as much as possible as well. How can we make this transition as easy/anxiety-free/non-traumatic as possible for them?

  • Most excellent and difficult question. I'll think before answering about it but agree that you should not tell the older child until the 28th. He will want a chance to talk about it and say goodbye. – WRX Dec 18 '16 at 14:58
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After Christmas, (if you celebrate it), I'd set the stage. It seems you might want to give him more time than I suggested in my comment. Perhaps find a book like one of these and give it to him after the holiday. Read it with him/them and start the conversation. Tell the truth. "Teacher is getting another job. She will miss you, too." Perhaps make Teacher a gift or card with some photos and be sure to take some photos of her, the places where he played and then you could make memory books for the teacher and your child. There is plenty of information out there. I liked these two sites.

Parents

Carelulu

Good luck!

3

As you noted, kids preschool age have limited ability to process. They are "concrete" thinkers. They may have a motherly attachment to your provider, but in the end, she's just a friend. At this age, they'll forget about her after a few years.

If you are concrete with your information, they will understand to the level they can comprehend. Children this age have little ability to experience time, so explaining "she'll be gone next week" won't really mean anything. Some things you might try:

  1. Have your kids make a going away card no more than a few days prior to her last day. I actually think the night before would be best.

  2. Expect your kids to cry when they say goodbye, but make it fairly clear they will not see her again--if you believe it to be true. And if she makes it to a family event or whatnot, it will be a bonus.

  3. Allow your kids to take her contact information, even though they have no idea of how to use a phone.

  4. Treat the situation with confidence everything is normal. One of the worst fears of children this age is that nobody is there to care for them. You'll figure it out. Your kids don't need to know how.

  5. Consider a going-away party. It doesn't matter what. Children are most impressed with cake and candles.

  6. Show a little extra love for a few days. "This happens to people all the time. It will be ok."

Good luck!

  • I really liked your number 4. Everything else was good too, but wished I'd put that in my own answer. – WRX Dec 21 '16 at 16:28

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