If your child is accustomed to being at home with you full-time, then any change to that routine could be difficult for them (especially if they are older and more aware of who is around them). Children crave security and routine, but a day full of new, fun activities can be a wonderful distraction. Many services will have a transition period for new children, where they may visit for an hour or two at a time with their parent or caregiver, in the week ahead of starting, to get used to the new environment and new people. Provide a backgrounder on your child. Write a few paragraphs to introduce the child to their new carer/s. It’s useful to provide specific details of their sleep/feeding routine, as well as any likes and dislikes. Expect the first few weeks of goodbyes at drop-off to be hard on both of you. But having confidence in the service you have chosen should help you feel more calm and comfortable, so your child won’t see you getting upset too. The first drop-offs could take slightly longer, but try to reduce the time it takes gradually so your child gets used to the new routine. (There is nothing wrong with crying in the car after you leave for the first few days. Nearly every mum has done it.) It’s important to say goodbye rather than sneaking out while they’re distracted. Give them a cuddle and kiss and tell them when you’ll be back to collect them. Then go, and let the carer help them start their day of activities. Lingering, fussing or trying to reassure will only make it worse. Remember that the person/people you are leaving them with are trained to look after and reassure them. If they do cry when you leave, know that they won’t cry all day – in fact it probably won’t last longer than it takes you to get back in your car. If you’re really upset by it you can always call later to see how they’ve settled in. Sometimes a child who has settled in well can go through a patch of being upset at drop-off. Sickness, a change in routine, feeling unsettled for whatever reason can spark a meltdown in a little person, so know that they will come out the other side. If it doesn’t settle down after a month, talk to the carer to get their opinion on whether the situation is fixable. Otherwise you may want to reassess the best option for your child.