Children feel safe when they are with family or others they know well. Even though child care is much more familiar for children these days, young children (ages 0-5) may occasionally have a hard time when they are away from their families for extended periods of time.

Generally, as children reach the age of three, they begin to get a confident sense of their own separateness from everyone else. It’s not surprising then that during the early years, separation from family members (the people whom a child feels closest to and even feels part of) can be very upsetting for a child.

In this set of resources, we will focus on how you can help children work on feelings about separation and independence, memory skills, developing self-control, and expressing feelings.

Just as Daniel Tiger and Miss Elaina are learning how to go to school and be away from their families, the children in your classroom are learning these same skills. The separation may be easier for some kids and more difficult for others, but having a plan in place for gradual acclimation and strategies the children can employ throughout the day can help children learn to be more independent and remember that grownups do come back.