Five Reasons to Feel Good About Daycare
Children and Families Benefit from Daycare
In today's economy, double income households are often the rule rather than the exception. As a result, many families rely on alternate forms of childcare such as nannies, private home daycares or licensed daycare facilities.
It is a common misconception that daycare is an inferior choice for young and school-age children. In fact, I have known a woman who found the idea of daycare so undesirable, though her only childcare option, that she chose not to have children; she could not bear what she referred to as "farming out" her parenting responsibilities. For those who choose daycare by necessity or by preference, it is in fact an invaluable solution that allows many families to enjoy a balance of work and family time, knowing their children are in good hands.
When parents do choose daycare, sometimes feelings of sadness and guilt are inevitable - especially when a parent must return to work after enjoying maternity or parental leave. These feelings can rise to the surface even when a parent has done much research to ensure their children are happy and well-cared for. Naturally, parents miss their children while they are in the care of others; however, there are many reasons why parents can and should feel good about their child being in daycare.
Books on Choosing the Best Daycare for Your Child
Five Ways Daycare Can Benefit Your Family
1. Daycare does not mean inferior care. Group daycares are designed to be safe, enjoyable and learning-rich environments for your child. Age-appropriate games, crafts and fun activities are supervised by trained professionals whose specific area of expertise is early childhood education.
Caregivers employed by licensed daycare centres are certified and must undergo criminal record checks as terms of their employment. They are familiar with the stages of child development and are there to support your child as she learns new skills at her own pace.
Parents appreciate the personal support, information and encouragement they receive from daycare workers who provide ongoing feedback on their child's physical and emotional growth.
2. Daycare can offer your children what you can't. Most parents do not have access to the combination of knowledge, time and money required to provide a steady stream of interactive and educational activities at home for their children each and every day.
Some daycare programs - even for children in the toddler age group - use preschool and kindergarten classrooms as a model for programming. A sample daily schedule would include both unstructured and structured play, snack times, circle times, toilet training/bathroom breaks, songs, nap times, crafts and themed learning activities. Familiarity with the same basic routine they will encounter in school can provide children with a more pleasant and natural transition when they are ready to enter kindergarten.
Books on the Stages of Child Development
Daycares Support Healthy Emotional and Physical Development
3. Important social skills can be learned at daycare. Every day your child will have many opportunities to learn and reinforce social skillsamong children her own age in a group daycare setting. Emotional intelligence, which includes self-awareness, self-control, and empathy, has been theorized by psychologist Daniel Goldman to be a more important factor in adult relationship and career success than IQ.
How to initiate play, how to share, how to ask for what you need, and how to resolve conflicts are just a few of the important skills a child learns by spending time with other children. Children who are naturally shy and attend daycare, even once or twice a week, can "test the social waters" and make friends before entering kindergarten. Educational theory supports the notion that children learn through play.
By giving your child the opportunity to play with children of different backgrounds, varying temperaments and unique personalities, she will begin to acquire the basic social skills that will help her succeed throughout her life. As an added bonus, parents may enjoy making some new friends of their own, and practice interacting with the other adults in their child's life.
4. A strengthened immune system. It is well known that children build up and strengthen their immune systems by exposure to the common bacteria and viruses that are all around us. While it is true that some children must tolerate cold after cold in their first year of daycare or elementary school, their susceptibility to illness drops off over time.
Without a doubt, being around other kids means being around more bugs. No caregiver can possibly sanitize every toy a child has touched, or immediately wipe every runny nose. By being allowed to catch a few colds early on, your child will develop a healthy immune system that may help her resist more serious illnesses down the road. As most group daycares require proof that every child's vaccination record is up to date, the possibility that yours will contract a very serious illness at daycare is minimal.
Books on Work-Life-Family Balance
Daycare Can Help Your Family Achieve the Right Balance
5. The benefits of work-life balance. There are times and situations in a family's life where it makes sense to enroll your child in daycare to allow everyone some breathing room. Young children require a great deal of attention and stimulation, and parents don't always have the resources that daycares have to give their children what they need.
The self-employed often find they are unable to work without blocks of quiet time to help them focus. New mothers can feel overwhelmed with the responsibility of caring for a new baby and her older sibling who has equally important but very different needs. Sometimes parents simply need a few extra hours each week to manage their households and busy lives.
Work-life balance is an important aspect in achieving overall health and happiness. Striking that balance means that every moment of each day is not spent in advance, and there is time left in the day to enjoy our families.
I hope these five points help parents who are considering whether daycare is the best option for them, and also those parents who already have a child in daycare. I also hope my list serves as an informative outline and helpful reminder of why daycare can be beneficial to children and their families.
Tips for Choosing a Daycare for your Child
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I Can Make Life: Poems About Infertility and Miscarriage, Pregnancy and Birth
About Nicole Breit
Nicole Breit is a published author and poet. Her debut poetry collection, , retraces the journey to have her son, and was a finalist for the 2012 Mary Ballard Poetry prize. She is the owner of Sparrow Writing + Editorial Services, and when she isn't having fun with her kids, she is helping small business owners craft blog posts, articles, web content, and ebooks. I Can Make Life
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