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Preparing Your Child

Both parents and children have difficulty with changes and separation. You can help your child prepare for this new experience and transition in a variety of ways.

  • Talk to your child about the child care setting. Make him or her feel good about it by discussing some of the fun things that might happen there.
  • Try to keep major changes in your child’s life to a minimum during this time.
  • Spend time with your child at the child care site before you leave. Consider starting your child on a part-time basis.
  • Make a special album, or box for your child to take to the site with pictures of family, friends and other things important to your child. Ask the caregiver if bringing a special toy or blanket is alright.
  • Talk to your child a few minutes each day about what his/her day was like. What was fun? Tell your child about your day too.
  • Develop a special and regular routine for saying goodbye to your child. Routines help children feel safe, and will reassure them that you will return.
  • Keep your goodbyes reassuring but short.
  • Remember that each child is unique and will handle change differently. Some temporary yet common reactions are crying, acting younger than his/her age, getting stomach aches or headaches, having problems sleeping or complaining. If you treat your child’s reactions with love and respect this transition will go smoothly. Remember these reactions are usually temporary!

Your Rights

As a parent you have the right to ensure your child’s well-being while in the care of a provider. Visit your child and communicate frequently with his or her caregiver. Sharing information about your child’s needs, interests, problems, personality allows both you and your child’s caregiver to provide the best care for your child.

However, if you have any concern about the care your child is receiving, feel free to discuss them with the provider. If you are unable to resolve the issue and want to change child care providers, call PATCH to get referrals for locating a new provider.

You also have the right to check the background of a licensed caregiver for possible complaints. If you have any questions about a specific child care provider, or if you are concerned about the health and welfare of a child in child care, you are encouraged to call your nearest State of Hawaii Department of Human Services Child Care Licensing Unit:

  • Oahu: 587-5266 or 675-0470
  • Kauai: 241-3660
  • Maui County: 243-5866
  • West Hawaii: 327-4755
  • East Hawaii: 959-0669






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