What to Do if Your Child Doesn’t Want to Leave Day Care

Some parents face the initial difficulty of getting their child accustomed to day care. The child may not want to leave their parents, consequently, making the mornings difficult.

But then there’s the opposite problem—when a toddler doesn’t want to leave day care. On the one hand, it’s reassuring to know that they’re enjoying day care and have a safe, welcoming place to be while you’re at work. On the other hand, you may be wondering: “Why does my child not want to go home?”

Emotional management

Like so many things with toddlers, this comes down to managing emotions. The fact is that every transition for toddlers is difficult, including returning home from day care. This may manifest itself in a variety of ways. Your child might get into conflicts with other students or throw temper tantrums.

Some days, you may need to pick up your screaming child and carry them out surfboard style. But before you cross that bridge, there are some things you can do to smooth the process.

Start a routine

You probably already have a routine in the morning for going to school. The child eats breakfast, brushes their teeth, gets their clothes on, etc. Set up the same thing for the end of the day. Get your toddler involved by having them collect their stuff and put it in their bag. Have them say goodbye to their teacher and their friends.

Talk it over

It’s always helpful to talk to your child whenever they’re facing any difficulty. They may—or may not—let you know why exactly they’re having such a tough time leaving. Wait until after they’ve settled down to have these discussions. You can also reinforce the idea that leaving the day care is only temporary and that they’ll be able to return there soon.

Set a timer

When your toddler still doesn’t want to leave day care, you can have other options up your sleeve. Break out your phone, and set a timer for five minutes. This will give your child a bit of time to prepare to leave day care and to have a few more minutes to play with their favorite toys or read a book with you.

Provide a little extra motivation

You still have more tools in your toolbox to have a tear-free departure. Talk with your child about all the fun things you’re going to do at home, such as, “Let’s go see your mommy!” or “Let’s go home and play hide-and-seek.” You can also bring a snack that the child can have on the way home, because bribery works really, really well with children.

We hope you now have an answer to the question: “Why does my child not want to go home?” Here at My Second Home Early Learning Center, our goal is to build meaningful connections with all our students. Established in 2007, we’re a family-owned and -operated business serving the community. Call us today to learn more and get your child enrolled—we’d love to introduce your family to our programs.