When a couple has a young child, daycare and preschool come into play faster than they might expect. But what’s the right age to start a child daycare? Well, the decision depends on many factors: partner’s ability to take leave; the length of parental leave; their financial responsibilities; and whether they have other childcare options available, such as relatives.
Most daycare centres are strict in rules and don’t accept babies under 6 weeks of age. However, the best age to start daycare at is at when the child becomes least 12-months-old. Some studies have shown that starting a child daycare too early creates stress levels in infants which later get increased, so it’s a balance that parents have to strike.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at when an infant will get the most benefit out of daycare, how long they may need to stay there and the benefits of enrolling.
- How long will a child stay at daycare?
Every kid is different, but up until 3 years old, infants experience higher stress levels when parents left them alone for a full day. Also, for most children, it’s advisable that they should stick to half days or maximum of 4 hours until they are at least three, whenever possible––the parents can decide well.
- What is the child’s natural stress level?
Before putting a child at daycare centres, one should judge the child’s stress level and demeanor. If a kid is typically easy-going and calm, he or she will have a much easier time adjusting with strangers and adapting to childcare ethics. Likewise, if a child gets anxious easily, it would be a tough separation. Therefore, to make sure how a child will respond at daycare, it is recommended that parents should try some half-days or a week just to see how they respond or until they are acclimated. In short, the biggest consideration parents need to keep in mind is that how their child reacts to being away from them.
Benefits of Enrolling a Child At Daycare
Regular Schedule and Activities
At daycare centres, children are provided with dozens of activities that include storytelling and songs. For toddlers, these activities are vital to their intellectual growth and development. Moreover, they will feel more confident rather than staying at home and playing with their parents or siblings. These fun tasks are also satisfying for parents, who know that their toddler is happy at the end of the day.
Daycare makes kids smarter.
According to the National Institute of Childhood Health and Human Development 2006 study–– conducted over 3,000 kids, suggests that children who were cared for by others behave same as children cared for exclusively by their mothers. However, one encouraging caveat noticed–Children in high-quality daycare had better cognitive development and language during the first four years of life. Likewise, the benefits remain long through the age of 15.
Also, daycare interaction help kids learn how to problem-solve, share and otherwise learn well together, while their personalities still emerging and minds are still growing.
Daycare prepares kids for school
According to researchers, children by age 5, who attended daycare, had substantially stronger math and reading skills relative to similar children who attended home-based, informal childcare settings. This is because the learning structure of professional daycare centres teaches children more about little independent tasks such as putting on their shoes, putting away their coats etc. which makes kids smarter day by day.
Social and Economic Benefits for Parents
No doubt, dropping a child at daycare can often seem as anxiety-provoking experience. Even if a couple has done good research and are actively engaged in learning about the best daycare institution credentials, staff, and day-to-day operations, they are still worried about leaving their precious child with a group of strangers. While deciding to keep a child at daycare may be a heart-pounding option for many couples, there is clear evidence kids will benefit over the long term. And, not only a child but a couple will also be able to concentrate more on their job once they know their child is on safe hands.
- Being around other kids will help them build confidence and a stronger immune system. Yes, when a child stays at daycare, they may get sick more often, but it actually strengthens up their natural defenses.
- Early-age socialization teaches valuable social skills that will benefit later in life. A daycare child will learn how to solve problems, share things, and work as a team.
- Provides an opportunity to make friends early, making the experience isolating.
What are its disadvantages?
One of the biggest problems with daycare is that parents are at the center’s mercy. They may have to bear the costly fee for late pickups, stay at home when a kid is sick, and scramble for backup care when the daycare remains closed on holidays.
Babies, in particular, need lots and lots of love and attention to thrive. And at daycares, a child is more likely to catch seasonal diseases such as pinkeye and colds––since he or she gets exposed to more germs. Even at the best and cleanest centres, the germs are flying! So, it’s inevitable that a kid will be exposed to more infections at centres than they will at home––which means more trips to the doctor, high medical bills, and longer sick time for a child.
Another disadvantage of admitting a child to a day center is that they may learn bad habits from other kids. In case if it happens, the parents must talk to the teacher and ask them to keep their child away from other toddlers.
Finding a quality daycare center where toddlers are engaged, supported, encouraged and exposed to a positive learning attitude can help kids set the groundwork for later intellectual strides. Therefore, do good research before trusting any center.
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