The daycare was planning to move the girls from Infant room to Toddler room at 19 months and that seemed like a good time to make the split as well. So far so good, I'm satisfied with the decision and would like to share how it went down and what I learnt in the process of splitting my twins into separate classes.
- Involve the school/daycare staff in the decision making process: My daycare has a good policy of respecting parents' choices. When I went to the site director and requested that I would like them to put the girls in 2 different classes once they move up to toddler rooms; she was very enthusiastic and said if she had twins, she would do the same thing. I'm no child psychology expert so I was glad to have that validation of my decision from someone who would know
- Ask early: They daycare started planning this move at least 3 months in advance and asking early meant that my requests could be considered without causing a major disruptions to their plans
- Match student personality to teacher personality: This may not matter when the girls are older but as babies its important that they're with caregivers of similar temperaments (that's my opinion not backed up by any science or logic). Spice is physically demonstrative and loves hugs and cuddles. Sugar is very physically active, has a high-energy level and is always on the go. So I asked the daycare director to compare the caregivers in the two toddler rooms and tell me who was more lovey-dovey and who was more energizer bunny. Spice went to the lovey and Sugar went to the bunny
- Validate the choices: We had a one month transition period of the girls spending some time in their new rooms and that gave us a chance to observe how everything was working out. If it seemed that the baby-caregiver match wasn't going to work, I'd have requested a change at this point but that was not necessary. The girls' first days in their respective rooms really validated the choices we made.
Spice: Was looking sad when I picked her up after her first day. Changes to her routine upset her even if she doesn't show it due to her tough chick exterior. I know that being surrounded by new caregivers and bigger kids scared her but she hid it well until she saw me. Next day I asked her teacher how she fared her response "She was very brave". That response made me happy; the teacher saw beyond her facade and could identify the emotions going on under.
Sugar: Her teacher said she was happy with all the new toys and just played away. That's Sugar. She's noticed the changes but as long as there's some new and fun things to do, she' happy.
I think Sugar's teacher may have been fooled by Spice's facade and Spice's teacher would have irritated Sugar to no end if she tried to love up on her. The personalities match and I'm happy.
That's a day two report. We'll see how this works out long-term.