10 Tips: Transitioning Your Child to Daycare

Your little one is just about to start daycare – you’ve found just the right place and while it will be tough to say “bye-bye!” every day, you’re feeling ready to get back to work and finally have a moment to finish the dishes that have been piling up, or maybe even take a sweet moment to yourself.

But how do you transition your child from home to daycare? Taking the time to integrate your kids slowly will not only help them adjust to their new schedule and start making friends, it will ease the changes you will experience as a parent.

Here are a few tips to help things go a little more smoothly as your child adjusts to life at daycare:

1. Visit the daycare together a few times first

There’s no need to dive head first off the deep end! Start by introducing your little one to the place where they will spend their weekdays. Schedule a few visits with the daycare – you can introduce your little one to their future educators and even some of the kids.

2. Tell your child what to expect

Take the time to explain what their daily routine will be like, including types of activities, naptime and meals, and when you will drop them off or pick them up.  Make sure you do this every day!

3. Transition gradually, a little longer every time

Most daycares will have a transition plan for new babies: first, you and your child will spend a few hours a morning together at the daycare for about a week.  The next week, your child will spend that same amount of time alone.  Finally, the third week, they should be going full-time.  It is rare that a child will need more than a month to adjust.

4. Say goodbye quickly and with confidence

Maybe that’s giving them a quick hug, a kiss or a sweet wave, but there’s no need to linger! The educators at your daycare see new kids who miss their parents on a regular basis and have lots of experience helping them through.

5. Adjust your schedule at home for naps and lunch time

Try to do this before your child starts daycare – if your home schedule is similar to the daycare’s, it will be much easier for your child to adapt.  This is especially important if your child is at daycare part-time.

6. Consistency is key

Whatever you do, try to keep you schedule as consistent as possible, especially when it comes to bedtime routines!

7. Clear your calendar for when you pick-up your child, for open-ended play

Much like adults are often tired after a day at work, your child will be tired after a day at daycare!  Try not to schedule any activities immediately after picking them up, and instead give them the option of going straight home, stopping at the park, or taking a leisurely stroll in the neighborhood. If you do go home, offer them simple activities with no definitive end point, like drawing or playing with Legos.

8. Take time to talk to the care provider(s) and develop a good relationship

Get to know the educators at your daycare – they are an important resource and can tell you lots about what is going on during the day and how your child is adjusting. When you pick-up your child from daycare, ask how things went, along with the names of their new friends and adults in charge. Then, when you get home you’ll be ready to talk about everything with your little one.

9. Befriend other parents at the daycare and make playdates

This can be beneficial for both you and your child! This is a way to help your kids develop friendships with each other, and for you to meet other adults who are experiencing similar challenges as you. You can talk about issues you are having with each other, and help each other problem solve as you go.

10. Teach your child about sharing, taking turns, compromise, collaboration

It can be a tricky transition for your child to go from being alone at home to being in a group of 6-10 children, especially with lots of cool new toys.  Start by bringing them to play groups in the neighborhood, and model how to share toys when you play with them at home. Encourage your child to think about how others feel and demonstrate coping strategies for negative emotions.

Daycare Subsidies

The daycare subsidy system is complex and not always easy to understand. Depending on your income and immigration status daycare can cost anywhere between 8.25$ and 40$ per day. Take a look below to find out whether you are eligible and how much daycare costs!

Am I Eligible for a Subsidy?

How Much Does Daycare Cost?

For a breakdown of daycare cost based on income, visit the Famille Québec website. 

Which Daycares are Subsidized?

Centres de la petite enfance (CPEs) are not the only daycares with subsidized care available! Some private daycares and home daycares also have subsidized care. To find out which ones offer this service, visit https://www.laplace0-5.com/geosearch.

Not sure what the difference is between types of daycare? Take a look at our blog post!

Changes are Coming

The subsidy system is changing over the next 4 years. For more information please visit the Famille Québec website. You can also get in touch with our Family Liaison, who would be happy to answer your questions and help navigate this important system. 

Discover how to find the right daycare for your child... in Cantonese or Arabic!

This spring, we met with 6 incredible Montreal moms – these multilingual mothers translated our first naptime session about daycare registration into several languages: Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Arabic, Spanish and Bangla.

We have been editing the videos over the past couple of months and our first videos are finally online! Take a look and come back soon – we’ll be adding more translations over the coming weeks.

Discover the videos!







Family activities - April 19th 2021

Hello Families,

It’s Volunteer Week – Let us thank together the volunteers around us who have supported, even more since the last year, the teams of many resources in our neighborhood and elsewhere. If you have time and want to get involved, several organizations and programs will be happy to welcome you (contact us for more details).

Upcoming Activities

👨‍👩‍👦‍👦 Regular weekly activities are still happening. Check them all out here

  • Create with Vila – Innovation-Youth 🧁
  •      – Friday April 23 at 10-11am
  •      – Yoga and crafts for the whole family
  •      – required materials
  •      – participate
  • Farmer’s market – Innovation-Youth 🍅
  •      – Friday April 23 at1-3pm
  •      – 2154 Ste Catherine W
  •      – pay what you want
  •      – more details
  • Housing workshop (in French)- Comité Logement Ville-Marie 🏘️
  •      – Free mandatory workshops for people wanting to register/remain on the list for housing cooperative projects
  •      – Wednesday April 21 at 1:30pm
  •      – 1710 Beaudry street, room 2.7
  •      – registration: 514-521-5992 | info@clvm.org

Please take a few minutes to check out this survey by the Community Council about what you’d like to see happening more in your neighborhood: strategic planning in Peter-McGill. It will also be available at the market this Friday afternoon if you’d rather get a hard copy or if you have any questions about the survey.

More resources here

Family activities - April 27th 2021 - special gardening 🌸


Hello Families,

Even if the weather is not yet sure if it’s winter or spring ☔ you can still start with your planting and preparing your urban garden for the summer. Be it on a windowsill or on your balcony, it will for sure make for some great memories for you and your little ones (get ready for some serious fun and cleanup afterwards)

On another note, curfew will be at 9:30pm starting Monday May 3 for Montreal, so enjoy your evening walk after dinner.
Also, don’t forget to book your appointment to get your Covid-19 vaccine (the spots available go fast); check the schedule to plan according to your age-group 

Upcoming Activities

Have a look at the weekly regular activities for the whole family here

  • ∆ Seed to Table – Peter-McGill Neighborhood Life Committee
  •      – learn how to grow your own herbs and veggies on your balcony, connect with neighbours and contribute to urban agriculture
  •      – attend our coaching sessions and join us for a harvest celebration in the fall
  •      – sign up here and pick up the supplies needed (at no cost) on May 17 in the garden located at 2205 Tupper street
  •      – open to Peter-McGill residents, families and neighbours

  • ∆ Distribution of flowers and herbs – Arrondissement Ville-Marie
  •      – free for residents with proof of address
  •      – sign up here on May 3 and pick up your plants on May 22 in the Prudence-Heward park

  • ∆ Adopt a tree square – Éco-Quartier Peter-McGill
  •      – help take care of a tree square in the neighborhood
  •      – free flowers and soil provided
  •      – sign up here or contact Éco-Quartier PMG – until April 30

Share your green thumb results in the Facebook parents group 🌳👍


You have time during the week and want to be more involved in the neighborhood? We’re looking for volunteers for one hour walks with the stroller-break service – experience with little kids recommanded. Contact us for more info 👶


Family activities - April 6th 2021 🐝

Hello Families,

Once again it is time to get your discount chocolates after this long weekend hunting for hidden eggs around your place. You might still find some next year behind a shelf if your kids are champions at hiding them though 🐣
Take advantage this week of the beautiful sun outside to have a nice walk with your family, while still maintaining safe practices like distanciation and wearing a mask 😷
Please stay safe and get tested if you have any symptoms  (https://santemontreal.qc.ca/en/public/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-covid-19-in-montreal/)

Upcoming Activities

  • all weekly virtual activities are maintained as usual. You can find the complete list here
  • ∆ English reading circle – CUSP
  •      – for kids 4-8 years old
  •      – changed from Tuesdays to Wednesdays | 6pm
  •      – registration
  • ∆ Défi dessin – Père-Ambroise library
  •       – drawing activity in French
  •       – Friday April 8 | 4:30pm
  •       – details and registration
  • ∆ Zoom Sparks – Montreal Children’s library
  •      – bilingual pre-litteracy program for parents and children 0-5 years old
  •      – register now for the new Spring session starting Saturday April 17 | 10am
  •      – limited number of participants
  • ∆ Zoom Goose – Parent Child Mother Goose program
  •      – Stories and songs for parents and children 0-3 years old
  •      – in addition to Wednesdays (English) and Thursdays (French), now also on Saturdays (bilingual) | 9:30am
  •      – registration
  • ∆ Virtual Art Hive – Museum of Fine Arts
  •      – workshops designed for adults and teens – children can attend if accompagnied by a parent
  •      – Tursdays at 1:30pm | Saturdays at 4:30pm
  •      – register for the new April session
  •      – limited number of participants

Looking for other ressources…

Family activities - August 10th 2020

Hello Families,

How is your summer going? A lot of families are now almost done with the back-to-school shopping. I hope you won’t have to run around too much to get everything on your list. You can find great deals in local stores around the neighborhood.

There are some nice activities again this week:

You can find additionnal activities here

Family activities - December 14th 2020

Hello Families,

I hope you are enjoying the beautiful cold weather and keeping warm as the temperature dropped drastically over the last few days. I had to get my snow pants and big mittens out today so I could be able to walk to work and back without freezing 🥶 Use layers when getting dressed and check on your little ones to be sure their fingers and toes are okay.

This is the last newsletter of the year, and we have some nice special activities for you to do during the holidays break✨

Upcoming Activities


  • ∆  Farmer’s market at Innovation-Youth
    •      – this Friday, December 18th 1-3pm
    •      – 2154 Sainte-Catherine W
    •      – ‘pay what you can’ market
    •      – bring your bag, your mask, and your $
    •     https://fb.me/e/UoSqbYGe
  • ∆  online shows on the Famille Centre-Ville Facebook page with the Arrondissement Ville-Marie (Centre-Ville) and la Maison de la culture Janine-Sutto
    •      – Roman Zavada et le cinéma muet 
    •           December 18th-20th – https://fb.me/e/L1XTIWaf
    •           watch how music accompanies perfectly silent movies like Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin and more
    •      – la Fabricolerie d’Ariane DesLions 
    •           December 25th-27th – https://fb.me/e/61yOyHiin
    •           build musical instruments with reclaimed materials
      •      you’ll have access to additionnal video tutorials after the show
  • ∆  outdoor wintertime fun in the parks
  •      – check out the refrigerated ice skating rink in Cabot Square starting this Saturday, December 19th – equipment available for free for families
  •      – go sliding in Percy-Walter park or Julia-Drummond park
  •      – enjoy the beauty of Mont-Royal with equipment (raquettes, skates…) free for kids under 17 years old
  •      – complete list here (in French)

You can also bring the kids on the mountain to look for birds close to feeders and help the Friends of the mountain with their winter-long survey of birds population. It’s the occasion to learn more on animals habits right here in the city. More inormation on their website

If you’re planning on registering your little ones in French primary school next year but are not completely sure how to proceed, the CSSDM and Families Downtown will offer in person support starting January 15th at Innovation-Youth. You can make an appointment with me to meet and fill up the paperwork together. More details to come in January.

More activities here

The Families Downtown and the Peter-McGill Community Council team will take a break from December 21st 2020 to January 4th 2021 inclusively.

Family activities - December 1st 2020

Hello Families,

Warm(ish) weather is back for this first week of December and with it the rain too. Time to switch your winter boots for your rain boots one more time but not for too long! 🌦️

Weekly Activities


  • ∆  Eco-quizz with Eco-Quartier Peter-McGill
  • ∆  Reading circle at CUSP
  • ∆  Creative writing club at Innovation-Youth
    • – every Friday at 4pm
    • – kids 9 years and older
    • – Contact Grace for more information
  • ∆  Virtual art class at CUSP
    • – every Friday at 5pm
    • – kids 4 years and older
    • – Registration: Google docs form
  • ∆  Reading circle in French at CUSP
    • – every Sunday at 7pm
    • – kids 4-8 years old
    • – Registration: Google docs form
  • ∆  Breastfeeding support group at the CLSC Metro
  • ∆  Parenthèse playgroup at the CLSC Metro
    • – every Thursday at 10am
    • – children 1-2 years old
    • – Activities combine stimulation for children and themed discussion amongst parents
    • – Contact Annabel Marcogliese to receive an invitation: (514) 934-0354 x 7429
  • ∆  Virtual workshops at the Diet Dispensary
    • – for pregnant women and families with a newborn
    • ‘baby’s first food’ this Wednesday in French at 1:30pm
    • ‘breastfeeding positions’ this Thursday in French at 1:30pm
    • – check out their monthly schedule here
  • ∆  Breasfeeding support group with NourriSource

🏠 Looking for more information on affordable/social housing and how to apply for COOP housing? The Comité Logement Ville-Marie offers an in-person workshop this Wednesday (mostly in French) 

  • Where: Comité social Centre-Sud, 1710 rue Beaudry, local 2.7 (Beaudry metro station)
  • When: Wednesday December 2th, 1:30-3pm
  • Registration: 514-521-5992 / info@clvm.org / www.clvm.org


More activities here

Looking for other resources: check our updated resources page

Family activities - December 7th 2020

Hello Families,

The end of the year holidays are right around the corner. Two weeks left before school’s out!
It’s time to enjoy the festive decors you can find around the city, like the ones on Sainte-Catherine street and Place-des-Festivals. Be sure to dress enough though as it can get pretty cold in the evening when the lights are at their best 🥶 ❄️

Upcoming Activities

Check out the regular weekly activities here

The team at the Children’s library / Innovation-Youth is really busy to bring you lots of resources:

  • ∆  Family bundles for children under 5 (with diapers, formula, snacks and activities)
    • you can pick them up during the Farmer’s market on December 18th
    • registration needed by December 10th here
  • ∆  Book bundles
    • reserve your bundle here
    • pick up by appointment or during the next Farmer’s market

Montreal libraries also offer several activities online (in French):

  • ∆  family morning
  • ∆  holiday techno craft
    • series of 2 workshops – December 13th and 20th
    • you can pick up an optionnal bundle for the 2nd activity at the library’s counter
    • registration: https://forms.gle/RBQKmFJYFo613uC1A
  • ∆  take home crafts – Père Ambroise library
    • pass by their counter to pick up your craft to do at home
    • more details here