I saw a new (to me) term the other day: “I’m dropping Sophia off at ‘playcare,'” a friend posted on Facebook.
In between daycare and preschool, “playcare” situations are becoming more and more popular for parents of toddlers who need to run a few errands. Also called “mother’s day out,” playcare settings range from formal, registration-required programs to drop-in type services.
Is your toddler ready? Well, that depends on you. While separation anxiety is normal at this age (Does your toddler suddenly develop superhuman strength as he clings to your leg when you try to leave him in the church nursery?), letting him learn to be on his own and socialize is good, too.
Sophia went to playcare for two hours that day so her mom could go to the dentist, but I also have friends who have a regular schedule established each week. Regularity and consistency do help a child adapt to being dropped off to play!
Tip 13-36 months: Let your 3-year-old be responsible for some self-grooming, such as brushing their own hair and washing their face and hands. (You can always go behind them and ‘help.’) It teaches them responsibility and helps them feel important.