If your child is under 3, unfamiliar with separation, or simply likes to start things slowly, our Integration Program is for you!
Upon request, new families will find the child(ren)’s first 3 integration hours in the account ready to be booked, one at a time, over the course of a week, or up to 10 days.
These practice sessions prepare children for what they will experience when they stay for a longer visit. Including saying goodbye. And being picked up!
Step 1: Hello! Hello!
Welcome to daycare! Find videos of our entrance protocols for each centre here, so you can walk in with confidence. Consider sharing the screen with your child, so they know what to expect. Change shoes, sign the health declaration, and share info with the staff.
Don’t forget, the “Allergies” field on the website is where we keep info about your preferences and requests relating to Health and Care.
Step 2: You say “goodbye”
When you’re ready, let children know you’re going to go. Choosing somewhere they know about, like “work” or “Wholefoods” or “coffee” can help normalize this new experience. Let them know you’ll be back soon, and what you’ll do together when you return. This is called “bridging the separation” with the concept of reunion.
Children look to parents for feedback, for assurance that the new situation is safe, and for your approval. If they understand words, tell them it’s okay, with your words. Show them they are safe by pointing out their water bottle and comfort objects (if any), and give your approval by smiling, even if you don’t get one back.
Step 3: We say “hello”
Children’s integration visits are our first opportunities to create the relationships that will carry children through this new experience, and into a world of fun social engagement, and a whole new group of friends and people… but the kids don’t know that yet.
While you’re gone, the teachers are introducing kids to new people, pets, toys, and routines, and offering them support in whatever form we can. We answer their questions, and let them take the lead, to explore, or observe. For those first, short visits, we just focus on showing them how we can help them, and keeping them safe.
When you come back after 40 – 50 minutes, they’re playing away! Any tears are long dry and when you ask about the visit, they’re excited to share all their news… Hopefully…
That’s the best-case scenario. And even then, the second day is usually the toughest…
The goal of integration is to associate Buddings with fun and friends, of course, but also with a place that YOU come back to. Repetition is the best way we know to show your child that Buddings is a safe, fun place to play, and that parents always come back. Once they have that confidence, they can learn and play!
Some kids take to the place on day 1. Some kids need 3 or more days, and sometimes it can take longer still. We’re always prepared to give integrating kids extra attention, and the special relationships that form between teachers and tentative children are among the most rewarding aspects of this job. Plus, we’ll send you photos so you can follow along. 🙂
More about Buddings Integration
Our Integration recommendations are based on courses and books by child psychologist Dr. Gordon Neufeld, about “bridging separation” and giving time in relatable terms.