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Young children need security and routine in their lives but you don’t have to be the only one who cares for them. You may need to go out to work or you may feel that having time apart will help them learn new skills and also encourage their growing sense of independence.

Even if your child’s already going to nursery or childcare, you may also want or need friends and family to help out from time to time too. Here are some tips for ensuring you and your child’s other carers are all on the same page when it comes to looking after your wee one.

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Tips to help things go smoothly

Tip #1: Agree on some ground rules

Toddlers get confused if there’s a very big difference in the way they are looked after at home and elsewhere, which is why it’s so important to agree some ground rules with your child’s carers. For example, this could be around what they eat, where they go and how much screen time they’re allowed. Naturally, there will be minor differences in the way things are done – grandparents will always want to spoil them!

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Tip #2: Safety first

Toddlers can be active wee explorers. If your child is going to be cared for by a relative or someone who hasn’t had children of their own, their home may not be child-friendly and you’ll need to work with them to make sure it’s safe. For example, you could offer to lend them equipment you use at home, like a child safety gate. Our page on safety in the home has more tips.

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Tip #3: Let your wee one know what’s going on

Many children don’t like change, and want to know what’s happening, otherwise they can get upset or confused. So if they’re going to be looked after by someone else, let them know in advance. Before you leave them, give them a hug and kiss. Don’t try and slip away without saying anything, otherwise they may panic and get upset. Say a clear ‘bye-bye’ and tell them when you’ll see them again, like ‘after lunch’ or ‘when you’ve been to the park’. Then try not to be late picking them up!

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