Routines can be anything!
Flexibility is what makes Buddings famous, but we still incorporate consistency whenever we can. Meals, bathroom visits, handwashing, and any daily activity could be done any which way, but since we are trained to do them as a consistent series of labeled steps, children learn them quickly AND gain confidence about knowing what comes next. There is stability in the world... at daycare!
We use visual hourly schedules to show them where they are in the day, and most importantly, what is left to be done before they get picked up. A calendar on the fridge at home, with the Buddings days marked ahead of time, can give children the opportunity to discuss the schedule, and express their feelings about it in a calm, safe place.
Invite your child to participate in creating a "daycare day" routine.
Would they like to pick out their own daycare snack? You can talk about it at the grocery store!
Do they like to use a special backpack or shoes? Bring a toy? Have a certain number of goodbye hugs? Sing a song? Visit our pets? Keep a keepsake? ...
Anything can be part of a routine, and when it becomes ingrained, children can find comfort in following along. Especially when they know that the last step will be "getting picked up!"
If your child is not adapting to one long visit a week, or less, consider making more, shorter visits. For children under 3, we recommend coming twice a week, whenever possible.