Jacinta Peake has been working in child care for 11 years and often has parents asking her the same questions. Jacinta will tackle these questions here.

What can I do to make my departure from my child in the morning easy?
Dropping off children is traumatic for parents as well as for children, especially if it is a new experience for them. It is actually best if parents bring their child in, go to their cubbies to put things away and then leave them with a teacher (with one kiss and a good-bye). The longer the parent lingers, the harder it is for the child to separate and the parent feels guilty leaving then. The parent should remain in control, establish a routine and follow it daily, this way the child knows what to expect each day.

How can I help prevent my toddler from biting or being bitten?
Biting is a tough issue for all parties involved (the biter, the bitten, the parents of both, and the staff). All children go through several stages of development and they must finish each stage prior to moving onto the next. Babies must finish their “oral” stage of development and unfortunately, this sometimes involves biting for some children. The best way to handle a biter in a child caring facility is to have alternatives for the children. They should have access to things to chew on, such as cool teething rings, chew toys, or even pacifiers. These help to eliminate stress and it also helps them to finish out their oral stage of development (where they constantly feel the need to have their mouth on something). For a child that is an excessive biter, they may need someone to “shadow” them (follow them around and keep eye on them to be sure to provide interference between the biter and the one s/he chooses to bite; often the same victim each time). Often, the biter just needs to be separated for a short period of time with something to chew on (cold washrag, cold teething ring, etc…).