Kids & Company Blog

Separation Anxiety, Transitions & What to Bring on Your Child’s First Day

As things begin to resemble our pre-covid “normal” ⏤ many parents have been thinking about what the return to child care may be like for their children after extended time at home with family.

This fall will be the first time many little ones will be away from home as they attend child care for the very first time. Although it’s an incredibly exciting time for children who get the opportunity to explore a new learning environment, we know families have questions about how to ease separation anxiety at drop-off, how to support children through the transition and what to bring on their first day of child care.

Below, we will do our best to provide you with the answers to these questions. If you have other questions, reach out to your Centre Director or email!


1. How can I ease my child’s separation anxiety at drop-off? 

Consider that separation anxiety is a common part of development in older infants and toddlers under one year old. Psychologically the child fears the absence of their primary caregiver because they do not yet understand they can and will return – so starting child care or unparented activities can actually be a building block in that normal development as they begin to learn that you will unfailingly be there at the conclusion of each day. 

The easiest way to say "goodbye” is to give them a kiss and a hug, tell them you love them and that you are coming back at the end of the day, and then pass them to the child care provider.  It’s hard to do, but short and sweet is the way to go to avoid prolonging a sad time for your little one and establishing a long process for goodbyes in the future. 

You can use tools like the secure webcam, communication with your Centre Director and daily reports to monitor how things go in your absence – you may be surprised that once the stress of saying goodbye is over, your little one likely settles in fine and begins to build important connections to their secondary caregivers.


2. How can I make the transition to child care easier for my child?

Talk about what to expect. Speak with your little one about what is coming clearly and concisely. Talk about the friends they will make, show them pictures and tell them stories to help them understand what to expect.

Get back to routine. Most young children thrive with routine. In advance of starting child care, it can be helpful to get your child accustomed to the routines. You can start by replicating their child care sleep schedule for naptime and bedtime at home and ensure bedtime routines are consistent.

Acknowledge how they feel. Initially, children may find it difficult to go back to school or child care after spending time with you at home. It can be helpful to acknowledge that they feel sad, anxious or angry and recognize that the transition will be an adjustment for the whole family.

3. What do I need to bring to the centre on the first day of care?

What you bring to the centre will vary depending on your child’s age. Each child has a personalized cubby on site with space to hold their belongings. Below, we have broken down what you should bring based on your child’s age. Remember to label all of your little one’s belongings including clothing, bibs, bottles, soothers and any other necessities!

What is Provided by Kids & Company

  • A package of personalized name labels for all items for the centre
  • A cozy blanket for nap time*
  • Bibs*
  • Nutritious snacks and a hot lunch (when age-appropriate) which exceeds the requirements outlined by Canada’s Food Guide
  • *What is provided by Kids & Company varies depending on the child’s age. I.e. nap time blankets and bibs are not provided for kindergarten and school-age children. 

What to Bring to the Centre


  • Diapers and Wipes
  • Diapering Cream, Ointment and/or Powder
  • Full sets of extra clothing (at least two changes of clothes, and sealed bags
  • preferred)
  • Bottles & Sippy Cups
  • Formula/Breastmilk
  • Infant Cereal
  • Any packaged and sealed infant food or snacks
  • Comfort items (e.g., pacifier/soother, if needed)
  • Sunscreen that meets the recommendations of our Sun Safety Policy
  • Weather-appropriate outdoor clothing for all Seasons



  • Diapers/Pull-ups and Wipes
  • Diapering Cream or Powder
  • Full sets of extra clothing (at least two changes)
  • Indoor/Outdoor Shoes
  • Cup with a lid or water bottle that can be used during curriculum time or to is taken outside
  • Sunscreen that meets the recommendations of our Sun Safety Policy
  • Weather-appropriate outdoor clothing for all seasons
  • If toilet learning: 5 changes of clothing, underwear, socks and a spare pair of
  • shoes. All clothing should promote independence (e.g., pants that are easy to pull up & down)


  • Homework
  • Sunscreen that meets the recommendations of our Sun Safety Policy
  • Full sets of extra clothing (at least two changes)
  • Weather-appropriate outdoor clothing for all seasons
  • Water bottle for water that can be used inside or can be taken outside

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