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After a long day at work, the last thing a tired parent wants to do is engage in a daycare pick-up battle with a child who isn’t quite ready to leave playtime with friends and head home. Your child is happy to see you, of course, but sometimes they have a funny way of showing it! Have you had days like this?

Members of the Family Room blog team are sharing their favorite tips for making the end-of-day child care routine a little easier. One universal tip that our mom bloggers seemed to share across the board? Having a kid-friendly snack ready in the car for the commute home is always helpful!

Take a moment to connect with your child’s teachers and understand your child’s day. It’s so important to pause and appreciate all the love and kindness their teachers have shown to our little ones each day. I always want them to know how much I appreciate them on good days and on the bad!

Get all your stuff together first then get the child. I love that the school bag we choose for Cab is a preschool-sized LL Bean backpack, which makes no sense for him now that he is an infant, but the fact I can throw it on my back and have both hands free is awesome.

Same as making drop-off easier — allow yourself time to not be in a rush. But if you’ve had a tough day, allow yourself time to shake it off before entering the center…even if it means you’ll be in a rush to get your child packed up and out the door.

Talk about what you’re going to do at home. I often say, “let’s go home to see daddy!” and my daughter’s face lights up. I sometimes have her lovie in the car waiting for her as well in case she needs that distraction from whatever she and her friends were doing before I arrived.

Have a plan and stick to it. If you’re willing to let your child keep playing for 15 minutes, great. If you have some place to be and can’t hang around, don’t dilly dally. Let your child know and stick to the plan. Also, if you pick up after 5 p.m., presume your child will be hungry and bring snacks if you have a long commute ahead.

My preschool son struggles with transitions. We went through a phase where he would hit other kids when my husband came to pick him up. What has worked for him is to give my son time to finish whatever it is he’s doing or playing. We also allow him to say goodbye to his friends on his own timeline, within reason, and bribing him with an apple or cracker on the way out also helps!

What are your go-to tips and tricks for making daycare pick-up time a little bit easier? Share with us in the comments area below.

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