Making a Smooth Transition to a New Caregiver

Making a Smooth Transition to a New Caregiver

Occasionally a situation arises where a family will need to change caregivers after a loving relationship has been established between the person and the child. This change can often be very disturbing to the child, but it doesn’t have to be if the transition is handled compassionately.

Once the decision has been made to make the change, it’s going to be imperative that you discuss the impending transition with your child. One of the things you can do to help mitigate some of the anxiety is to include your child in the process. Find out what she likes most about her present caregiver and as much as  possible look for those same qualities in the new person.

Some parents permit their kids to be in on the interviews for new caregivers. This gives parents an opportunity to see what the chemistry is like between the kids and the candidates. Children will often pick up vibes about a person that adults are unaware of. Discussing the pros and cons of each applicant may give you an  idea of how the relationship might play out.  If your child really does not like a candidate, then you know to leave that person off the list of possibilities.

If you are comfortable with your current caregiver coming to visit occasionally to ease the transition, you can offer that as a possibility to your child. Perhaps she can visit on birthdays or other special occasions. Be sure to find out if the caregiver is willing and able to make an occasional visit before you mention it to your  child.

Another strategy is to invite the new person over a few times before she actually begins working. This will give your child a little time to get to know her. Plan some engaging activities that you can all do together for the first few days. You will be able to observe how the person relates to your child and your child may feel  more comfortable getting to know this strange person while you are there. After the caregiver leaves talk with your child about all the positives you saw. This can reinforce the upside of the transition.

Handling the move from a trusted and loved caregiver to a new person can be stressful for a child, but if you work with your child to focus on the positives and if you handle your child’s concerns in a compassionate and loving manner, the transition should go smoothly.


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