It can be one of the hardest experiences parents have. Mainly all parents experience some reluctance about going to work and staying home with kids. Some of us want to stay home with our babies and part of us wants and needs to work.
Consider several things you need when a baby or child cries when dropped off at childcare. When they children are just beginning child care, they will often cry for a few days or weeks. Some children will cry for an hour after drop-off and periodically throughout the day; and some will just cry for a few minutes after their parent leaves.
Other children will contentedly wave good-bye for the first week or two of child care and when it finally sinks in, will spend the next week crying at good-byes. However other children will make an adjustment to child care and then several weeks, months or years later will begin to cry at good-byes. The grounds for children crying at good-byes are many, ranging from a child making a healthy adjustment to child care to an indication of problems with the child-care situation or some other outside stress.
Young children have a hard time with separation because they don’t have a sense of how time works and they don’t yet know the nature of families. For example, babies and toddlers can only think about the present moment. If you go away, they can’t imagine you coming back, because they aren’t fully capable of thinking about the future. They also don’t yet know that you are going to be "their people" for the rest of their lives, so they don’t automatically take for granted that you will always come back.
The reason that children don’t want you to go away is that you are the one they trust, the person who knows them and understands their unique style of association. Children don’t yet know that someone else will also be able to keep them safe and respond to their needs and cues. That is why adjusting to child care takes some time. They need to learn (through experience) that you will come back and that the people who are caring for them are safe, responsive and nurturing.
There are other reasons children cry when they are being dropped off at childcare. It may be that the childcare situation is not a good match for them. It may simply be that the program is too busy and stimulating and your child has a quieter temperament or that the style of the caregiver is not comfortable for your child. Occasionally, even good programs aren’t a good fit for particular children.
Another rationale is that the program is not content children’s needs. There can be too many children, not enough teachers, too small or large a space, inappropriate or inadequate materials, unskilled, untrained or overstressed caregivers.
The schedule of the day may not be adapted to the needs of young children. The program that is so structured that the individual needs of children for food, sleep, play, caregiving and interaction aren’t being met is not a healthy place for children to spend their time.
Research inclinations that infants and toddlers want to do better in childcare when they have a "primary caregiver," someone who is primarily responsible for their caregiving and for communicating with their parent. There may be two primary caregivers if the child is there during two work shifts.
Children need a child-care setting where caregivers are contented and happy. Although these are not at all the only reasons children cry at drop-off, they are significant to consider when you are assessing your child’s experience in child care.
Lastly, a child may start crying at drop-off after having made the initial adjustment to child care because of something that is going on in his family. Illness, stress, job change, new baby or other changes in family may be cause for a child to show stress at separation. If you let caregivers know about these changes, it can help them meet the needs of your children.