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What are the pros and cons of daycare?

Millions of parents across the country face the tough decision of whether or not to place their children in daycare each year. As the number of families with both parents working outside the home has risen, the need for daycare services has increased dramatically. These families may not have relatives that live close by or are able to care for their children. Other families may have a parent that works from home but need uninterrupted time to complete work. Many daycare centres offer full-day versus a half-day or full week versus partial week options, priced accordingly. This allows each family to match the daycare’s services with their needs.

Daycare can be a fun and exciting experience for you and your child, while it can prove to be a disaster in some and worst, even traumatic. As most developmental psychologists would say, early development and experiences are important since it influences and affects later development. Daycare is the first experience your child will have in terms of interacting with children in his or her age range and a structured environment and also being away from their parents. This is a huge experience for your child and may, later on, determine how he or she might perceive going to school or having friends and even their sense of self and self-esteem. With this, it is important to choose the best daycare centre for your child. You need to ensure that your child will have a positive experience in daycare so they would be better prepared to take on bigger challenges in their young lives in the years to come.

So, you have been enjoying motherhood to the hilt by spending time with your little one, taking care of him and tending to his various needs too. But if you are a working mom, then this rosy period may have to end soon, and you may have to go back to work.

The sheer thought of leaving your baby behind can be daunting of a mother. However, the daycare centre is a good option for parents, who due to work constraints or due to other reasons, cannot be with their babies. In this article, we shall be discussing various advantages and disadvantages of a daycare centre and also various tips that may help you choose a daycare centre for your child.

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What Are the Advantages of Daycare Centres?

Various studies have shown that children benefit greatly from going to a daycare centre, and this holds for babies and toddlers from 6 months to 4 years of age. Here are some advantages or pros of a daycare centre for children:

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Kids Learn to Socialize

Daycare centre is a great place for kids to meet other kids, some of the kids may be of the same age, and others may be younger or older. Your child will be interacting with them on a day to day basis, which may help him to master his socializing skills. You kid may understand and learn the art of making friends too.

Kids Learn to Follow Schedule

Though there may not be any formal education imparted at daycare centres, the various activities that are planned for the children are executed in a structured manner. Your kid may learn how to do things as per the schedule, and this is amongst one of the many benefits of daycare for toddlers.

Kids Begin Learning at an Early Age

Daycare centres not only take care of your child, but they also plan various activities for your kids. These activities help your kid to learn various educational concepts at a young age. Many daycare centres may adopt play and learn the concept. Therefore, the importance of daycare in child development cannot be undermined.

Smoother Transition to Formal Schooling

Kids who start going to daycare centres may find it easier to adjust to the formal schooling atmosphere. This is because by the time they are ready to go to a kindergarten they may already be aware of being with same age group children, follow a schedule and other such things that may make the transition easier for them.

Kids Develop Better Immunity

This is one of the many benefits of daycare for infants. Home is a protected environment and a safe place for your child but not exposing him to rowdy environmental conditions may not be good for your child’s immunity. Daycare centre is a place where your kid would be interacting with many children. More the child gets exposed to various strains of flu and cold, better it is for his immunity.

Contentment for the Parents

Every parent wants to be with his/her child, but due to various constraints, sometimes this may not be possible. Therefore, when parents leave their children in a trusted environment where they are assured that their baby will be taken care of, and thus they may feel satisfied and happy.

The Disadvantages of Daycare Centers

There are lots of great things about daycare — your little one gets to socialize with others her age, sings fun songs, plays games and learns new things every day. Along with some wonderful newly acquired skills, however, your daycare diva may also bring home a few things you’d rather she didn’t.

Illness

It’s no secret that kids share everything, including germs. Findings from a study published in the December 2012 Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine indicate that children in group child care settings do develop more infections, such as colds, ear infections and other respiratory illnesses. The good news — the study also indicates that young children who attend daycare early in life might develop stronger immunity, translating to fewer illnesses during the elementary school years.

Learned Behaviors

Your young progeny is an eager sponge just waiting to absorb a host of useful new skills from her daycare environment. Don’t be surprised if she comes home flaunting her language development skills with newfound vocabulary words or knowledge of shapes and colours. Unfortunately, daycare is also a place where children may learn undesirable behaviours from each other, like hitting, temper tantrums or use of inappropriate words. If influences at daycare do turn your charming cherub into a handful, remember you have the power to undo any bothersome behaviour in your child. Retraining against bad habits picked up at daycare gives you a chance to practice dealing with real-world influences you will encounter throughout your parenting career.

Less Adult Interaction

Another possible disadvantage to the daycare setting is that your child typically receives less one-on-one adult interaction than she might. At the same time, she is home with you or another parent. If your little one is high-needs, this might be tough on you both. Please take it in stride, though, because there’s a chance this aspect could help foster healthy self-reliance and independent play. If you’re concerned about it, look for a daycare with a lower ratio of children to caregivers that may allow daycare providers to offer each child more individualized attention.

Rules and Regulations

Any daycare you choose operates under certain rules, which you may not agree with but still have to accept. These may be state regulations governing the operation of childcare facilities, or they may be centre-specific. For example, you may have an established routine of lunch at 1 p.m., followed by a nap at 2 p.m. Although it may drive you bananas experiencing an upset in your normal home routine, your little one has to adjust if your daycare centre serves lunch at 11:30 a.m. and has everyone down for a nap by noon.

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Why Daycare?

Daycare is a facility that offers to provide care and nurturance to your child while you are away at work or running errands or running your own business. Finding a nanny or a sitter these days are tedious and scary, what if you get someone who poses a threat to your child or someone who does not take care of your child the way you want them to do. Daycare is the best option for parents who are working and do not have someone who can take good care of their child. In daycare, it is not only the basic needs of the child that are met but also their need for interaction, socialization, physical activity, and emotional health. Daycare Marlborough offers a safe place for young children where they can express their curiosity, enthusiasm and have fun every day.

Children need physical and mental activities to enhance their holistic development. Daycare centres provide those activities and help build your child’s confidence, self-esteem, and social skills. Children have a lot of energy; they need to run and jump and play as this also builds their balance, agility and motor coordination. Daycares that have large playgrounds and kiddie gyms like Daycare Marlborough will ensure that your child will have hours of fun and they will enjoy being in the daycare every day. A daycare that also provides learning activities for young children helps in enhancing their cognitive abilities and perceptual processing. By introducing young children to colours, sounds, letters, and numbers in games and songs, they will learn all of this without even noticing it. They will only see it as a fun and enjoyable moment.

In the past, when mothers stayed home to take care of their child, the interaction we had with other children our age was in the local park and sandbox. Unfortunately, this is no longer true today, parks have become unsafe, and sandboxes have been empty for years. Daycare Marlborough is the modern-day sandbox, and this is where children come together and interact and learn the art of compromise, negotiation, sharing and building friendships. A daycare centre will provide your child with a steady supply of kids their age, and they will always have a group of friends they can play with and have fun with.

Daycares also introduce children at a very early age to the concept of cultural diversity, having friends with different ethnicity teacher children that the colour of our skin does not make us different from each other. Rather it is who we are that is important. Daycare Marlborough accepts children of any race and religion and will teach children to respect differences and focus more on unity and celebrating diversity. With all the hate going around the world today, we would want our children to be more resilient and more accepting of differences, and daycares are at a position to teach our children that.

When children are allowed to explore and express their curiosity, they are learning in the best possible way. Daycare Marlborough has a child-friendly facility, and it is designed to enhance young children’s curiosity by providing learning spaces in which they can explore, ask questions and experience it on their own. For example, the many toys in their play stations are handpicked to enrich their learning experience, building blocks are not just wooden blocks, and it has colour, texture and sounds to provide sensory experiences to the child.

Why Not Daycare?

Daycare is a win-win situation for the parent and the child, and it allows the parent the time to work or run their business and the child to have a great time away from his or her parents. However, some people do not think that daycare is necessary, and this is mainly due to a negative experience with daycare in the past or as experienced by their friends or relatives. Some parents believe that daycare is not at all effective in doing the job that they could do better, and if this is so, it should not be an issue. If you do work from home or if you have a good and reliable person to take care of your child while you are away, then, by all means, do not go to daycare. However, the kind of environment in a daycare centre is what makes it so effective in moulding and teaching young children. Daycare Marlborough has all the facilities to make sure that your child is nurtured, loved and encouraged to be the best little person they could be.

Things to Consider While Choosing Daycare for Your Child

Once you make up your mind on sending your kid to a daycare centre, you must pay heed to the following aspects before choosing a daycare centre for your child:

  • Daycare centre is not only for taking care of your child; therefore choose the one that may involve your kid in doing various interactive and educational activities too.
  • Choose a daycare centre that may allow the flexibility of time and days.
  • It will be a great idea to opt for a centre that may be close to your house so that picking and dropping may become convenient for you.
  • Make sure you check the child-caretaker ratio before putting your kid in any daycare centre, the lower the ratio, the better it is.
  • Make sure the centre is registered or licensed and follows the rules and regulations of a daycare centre.
  • There are many options for daycare facilities to choose from, and you should choose the one best suited to your family requirements.

Sending your kid to a daycare centre can be a tough call for the parents to take. However, there are many good options available too. Make deliberate efforts in choosing the daycare centre for your little one.

Less Quality Time with Parents- Naturally, if you are working during the day, you are going to miss quality time with your child. All parents know, time away from your children cannot be regained. Danielle of Park Ridge, New Jersey, says “There are days my daughter comes home with beautiful art projects, and I wish I had been the one to sit and paint it with her.”

Exposure to Poor Behavior- We cannot shield our children forever, but it is certainly discouraging to see children pick up poor habits from peers at daycare. From as early as 18 months, your child may mimic others’ words and actions. If a child at daycare is not speaking nicely to peers and staff, or worse, exhibiting aggressive behaviours such as biting or hitting, your child may see this as a way to gain staff’s attention. Communicate with the staff immediately if you see behaviours in your child that you did not see before daycare. Remember to approach staff as a concerned parent without accusing other children, families, or staff.

Whether you are comfortable with your decision to utilize daycare services or you are still apprehensive, there are a few ways to ensure you choose the right daycare. The best way to choose a daycare is to ask friends for references. Happy children often equal happy parents. If many parents in your community are sending their children to the same daycare facility, put it at the top of your list. Visit each prospective daycare and ask about safety protocol. Ask if there is a nurse on staff and if staff are CPR-certified. Also, ask how children with behavioural difficulties are handled. Whether your child is having a hard time adjusting to the new routine or is witnessing other challenging behaviours, you want to make sure staff approaches these situations with care and concern.

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The bottom line

It’s true that quality of care dips when a person has to watch over too many children, but good centres make an effort to keep the teacher-child ratio as low as possible. Also, having a number of teachers at these centres means they can support each other when needed.

Quality daycare centres keep the number of children in each group low, too. “It’s easier to give one-on-one attention and be responsive when there are fewer kids in a room.

The organization recommends:

  • One caregiver for every three babies if there are six infants in a group, and one for every four if there are eight babies in a group. NAEYC says eight babies should be the maximum number in any group.
  • One caregiver for three children in a group of six, a 1:4 ratio for eight children, 1:5 for ten, and 1:6 for 12. Groups should have no more than 12 kids.

A daycare centre doesn’t have to follow these ratios unless it wants to receive NAEYC accreditation. But centres do have to meet at least state guidelines, which vary. Even so, you can use these ratios as a guide when you’re evaluating centres; the closer they are to NAEYC standards, the better.

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