48 Answers

Concerned about the change in my son towards going to daycare – My extremely bright/intelligent but sensitive (and at times anxious) 2 1/2 year old son has always loved going to his daycare but suddenly for the past week he is upset each morning he goes and asks not to go. He’s actually been quieter and more sedate for a few weeks now but still enjoys a variety of activities both at daycare and at home. There has been a bit of change in his life recently as 4 ½ months ago we had a baby girl but I would have assumed he’d be used to this by now. The other thing is that 2 out of 4 of his carers at daycare have left in the past month. I have asked him why he doesn’t want to go but he’s not able to tell me – just gets teary and says that he doesn’t want to go. When I pick him up he’s generally ok though. He is now one of the oldest in his class so perhaps not as entertained as he was previously (although other children he’s used to as all still in his class too)? I asked his teachers but they can’t think of why he’s not happy each morning. Should I be worried that something may be happening to him at daycare that’s upsetting him? BTW pls note we have done all we can to ensure he still gets lots of quality time with both of his parents and still does lots of activities he loves.

Posted by anon, 12/10/13

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  • Continuity and structure are still very important at that age, so it isn’t strange your son responds with being unsettled after the changes in your family and the changes in his daycare. If anything don’t add more changes, but keep as much as possible the same routine and be there for him. He might not be so happy when you drop him off, but he’s ok when you pick him up. Many children of that age go through a stage of separation anxiety. My 4 yr old still winces and clings on to me when I leave her at childcare. I just make my goodbye brief and leave, because I know she’s totally fine. I wouldn’t worry to much, seems your boy is just adjusting to the new circumstances.


  • It may be the changes of staff leaving that has him feeling unsettled. Children form attachments and it is emotionally traumatic when separation takes place. He does not have the language skills to tell you. Also the new baby has altered the family dynamics. Speak to the director of his center and ask her how things are going with these changes. The fact that he is okay when you collect him suggests he is adjusting.


  • With a couple of his carers leaving, it would be upsetting for him. If you are able to, I’d see if you can go along for an hour or so when he’s there, to see how he interacts with the other carers and children. It may be that there’s one or two children that are picking on him, and he doesn’t know how to deal with this. Or there may be a carer that is less than friendly to him. Good luck, I hope you find a solution.


  • He obviously doesn’t like change so changing day care centre is not the answer …. Is there any males at the centre ? If you can I would go spend some time with him there and see what is happening


  • I would consider changing daycare centres.


  • there are some good comments here


  • Hope he is happier there now.


  • Hope he’s a happier little munchkin now


  • did you ever find why he didn’t want to go?


  • Did you end up finding out the cause for him being reluctant to go?


  • i would go with him for a bit


  • Maybe go with him for the day and observe to make sure that there isn’t something happening to him there. “Bullying ect”


  • Sounds like he has had a lot of change in the last couple of months, maybe there is another child he is not getting along with. My son used to clash with another child, so he never wanted to go to preschool so I changed days and we haven’t had a problem since.


  • How did you go? :)


  • Good luck and I hope you find something out


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