Next was getting my son (and honestly mostly myself) ready for this big change. Luckily I had planned his start date at d a few months before I went back to work so we could slowly introduce him to the daycare. I started with a few stay and plays where I stayed with him for an hour while he played.
Then it was leaving him for a few hours and slowly increasing this as he adjusted. Most day cares will encourage you to lead into the change this way, so the environment is familiar to your little one.
On his first day of day care we had brought him a new backpack and drink bottle and of course got the obligatory first day of day care photo (oh my heart!)
We also packed him a bunny toy and a blanket he loved, as a comfort for him to have there (this was the best thing we did!) A year on and he is still very attached to these two things and it has helped his transition into many new places.
At the time our son was intolerant to dairy so this was definitely an added stress but the day care were fantastic on making sure his intolerance was listed clearly everywhere so no mistakes were made. Conversations and effective communication around allergies and nutrition are essential and it was a big part of our planning in the initial stages.