How bad is this for children?

Your teacher is an important reference for children. Photo: Bigstock

If a favorite teacher is there and welcomes the baby with open arms in the morning, saying goodbye to Mom and Dad is much easier. But it also means: If a trusted reference person suddenly no longer exists, tears can flow—unfortunately constant staff change is a normal daily life in many facilities.

There are many reasons for this: layoffs, illness, maternity leave, moving to a different day care center… As understandable as the reasons for changing caregivers are, it is always a big change for children.

Many parents are concerned about this and wonder what the effect would be if children had to constantly get used to the new teachers.

According to an extensive study by the Bertelsmann Foundation, the optimal caregiver ratio (the ratio of caregivers to children) in a nursery with children under 3 is 1: 3. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the proportion of child care has improved significantly in recent years, but it is still far from ideal in many daycare centers.

Poor care, in turn, leads to stressful working conditions and a heavy burden on employees. The result: another personnel change. vicious circle.

But what are the consequences of the big fluctuations in foster care for my child?

Obviously, the constant change of individuals is stressful for children. After all, they need a stable environment for their development. As a result, many parents worry about the effect it could have on their children if they constantly had to say goodbye to their favorite teacher. The good news: A study by the United Nations University’s Institute of Child Development, Frank Porter Graham, came to the conclusion that most children survive a change of caregiver in a daycare center quite well.

The researchers found no evidence that infants and young children who experienced changes within staff later had difficulties in social adjustment. “This could be good news for parents worried about the high turnover of teachers and other professionalsDr. Mary Bratch Hines, one of the lead experts said.

Changing the facility is worse for children than changing the staff

On the other hand, what can negatively affect the development of children is the frequent change of attachment. “This may be because when children move to another place of care, they have to adapt to a new environment, such as different facilities, different toys, different games and new routines – as well as exposure to different peers and other caregivers.

But even here the consequences for the social adaptation of children can be demonstrated, but in general they should be considered rather small.


Has your child ever had to change facilities?x

Does this mean that children don’t mind constantly changing caregivers at all?

It’s not that simple after all. Because even if long-term damage is rare (according to current knowledge), constantly saying goodbye is still stressful. After all, it takes months after that before a secure bond with new teachers develops again.

It is therefore important for parents to accompany the change of caregiver and to lovingly support their child in this change.

What can parents do to help their children in such a situation

It is very important for parents to show their understanding of their children’s feelings. It’s also helpful for mom and dad to be friendly and open with the new caregiver and showing their child that they trust the stranger.

At best there is a smooth transition and the kids can get to know the new person at the daycare center beforehand. In addition, there should be a comprehensive farewell to the previous caregiver. This helps the little ones to deal with the situation as it becomes more predictable. From the age of three, it becomes easier for children to interpret and process the situation.

Tell us in the comments how you experience this at your daycare center: Do you also have a permanent change of staff? We look forward to the exchange!

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