My 3 year old is very shy with others. She will start day care next week and I’m very nervous for her.

Any tips? Should I just leave her there or wait until she gets a bit accustomed? Do I reward her when I pick her up?


Posted anonymously, 5th February 2016


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  • Dont worry about been shy at daycare my youngest son is and he is drawn to the quite kids in the room, they all sit together playing with cars, blocks etc and play together nicely..without issues that the confident kids can get themselves into. Try not to make a big deal of how long you will be leaving her there for and feel free to ring the centre after lunch to see how she is settling in. Going to daycare is a great way for her to make friends and enjoy the company of kids her own age.



  • My kids started pre-school when they were three and they were very excited. Of course they will be shy at first but hopefully once they get used to the teachers/carers, other kids and activities offered to them they will get used to just like going to school. Just be calm and happy for her and tell her some good things she is to expect . Kids are clever and will get nervous if the parents are too. Hope it goes well .



  • Be confident when you drop her off – she will pick up on any worries you have otherwise. Be super smiley, happy, let her know she’ll have a fabulous time and mummy will be back to get her after lunch. I found not lingering helped too as otherwise they can become upset and clingy. All the best, it’s hard as a mum to let go but it will be wonderful for her to play with other kids and learn lots of new skills.



  • Talk to her about what is happening and explain it to be the positive experience it is. Tel her you’re excited for her. Don’t say things like you’ll be sad to be away from her etc as this will cast a negative light on it and she’ll wonder why you’re sending her. Usually its best to leave as soon as possible as then she can just get settled in. Her teacher should also be able to give you advice.



  • Talk her through the day and what to expect.. Like other kids there playing with toys, ask a helper to each drink or go to the toilet, you’ll be back at the end of the day. Maybe do something special at the end of the day… But she could be exhausted so you may want to wait till the weekend. Just lots of cuddles and time:)
    It will be a sad first week but she will likely be fine after five minutes each time you leave. You will probably be sadder all day than she is! And that’s ok.
    When you arrive make sure you introduce her to one person who will look after her so she knows who is her carer for the day. Hope it goes well!



  • I am always amazed at how resilient and adaptable little ones are. She will be absolutely fine and will be well looked after! Sometimes it is harder for the parents to say bye when they drop little ones off.



  • At 3yo kindy there should be a teacher and at least once support staff member. For mine, (she was quiet), I found to worked best if I went into the classroom, got her talking and engaged with the teacher, waved a quick goodbye and left. The longer I stayed, the worse it was for her.

    It could be worth discussing best options with teacher PRIOR to kindy commencing.

    On the first day, most mums stay for a while – take your lead from the teacher.

    I also found it really important for my child to early so that the chaos of the room developed around her, she was didn’t have to enter a busy place.

    At the end of the day give your child a big cuddle and tell how proud you are of them. Make sure you have a snack and drink for them, and don’t ask them questions about the day as they probably can’t articulate everything that happened. Any arts and craft that come home, display on the fridge or around the house to make kindy a positive at home too.

    You will most likely be surprised at how well it all goes.



  • My daughter started going to preschool when she was 3 years and one month old. It was just 3 days a week for 3 hours. Till then, she had always been home with me, I never had a baby-sitter. I was quite nervous too because you never know how your child will behave outside. And my daughter is on the shy side too and very quiet. The principal told me I was welcome to stay in class the first day. It was a Montessori school. So I sat there, at one side, with all the kids. Some kids were coming to me and talking, showing me what they were doing. My daughter was just doing fine, trying out the puzzles and the different games. She didn’t come to me at all. After one hour the principal told me that I could go home, that she seemed to be doing very well. If there was something, she was going to phone me. I came to pick my daughter up after 2 hours and she was happy to see me and happy about her time at preschool. I worried for nothing. I think 3 years it’s a wonderful age to start. I wish your daughter all the best!! :-)


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