Daycare is a necessity for most parents these days, since many families rely on two incomes to get by financially. While the inability to do it all is often stressful for most parents, they can rest assured that daycare is a viable option. It offers long-lasting social, economic and academic benefits for kids and their parents. Studies have shown that children, including babies and infants from the ages of 6 months to 4 years, benefit from the daycare environment in many ways, including:
Regular Schedule and Activities
Even young children have a schedule at daycare. Although they might not be aware of the ticking clock, children are provided with a full slate of activities that include songs and storytelling. For toddlers, these fun tasks are essential to their intellectual growth and development. The scheduled activities are also satisfying for parents, who have less worry that their toddler’s behaviour will be erratic at the end of the day due to a lack of structured times for eating, playing and napping.
Extensive studies have found that teens had higher cognitive and academic achievement scores as if they spent time in high-quality daycare centres as young children. Of the more than 1,300 children studied, over 90 percent had been in the care of someone other than a parent before the age of 4. “High-quality” daycare was defined as facilities that provide extensive interaction with care providers, support and cognitive-boosting activities.
Time with Peers
Stay-at-home parents value the regular play dates they arrange with families and neighbours with kids of a similar age. Daycare interactions are an extension of this phenomenon, where kids get to spend time around one another in a supervised, structured and safe environment. Kids learn how to problem-solve, share and otherwise play and learn well together, while their minds are still growing and personalities still emerging.
Interaction with Other Adults
When children are very young, they learn about adults mostly from their parents and senior members of their families. Daycare provides an opportunity for children to see other adults as mentors and authority figures able to provide positive guidance. A 2006 study found that high-quality daycare was directly connected to quality caregiving. Specifically, adult care providers respond to children’s vocalizations, provide encouragement, show a positive attitude and discourage negative interactions in the daycare environment.
Smoother Transition to Kindergarten
A recent study found that parents who enrolled their children in daycare were more involved in school life as their kids got older. This choice benefited not only the parents, who had greater involvement in their children’s structured academic life, but the youngsters themselves. After going to daycare kids found it easier to adjust to formal schooling.
Social and Economic Benefits for Parents
Dropping your child at daycare can seem like a rushed, often anxiety-provoking experience. Even if you have done your research and are actively engaged in learning about the day care’s staff, credentials and day-to-day operations, you are still leaving your precious child with a group of strangers. You may have little to no interaction with people who are sharing your experience: other parents. However, a recent study showed that even a small amount of time with other parents provides immense benefit.
It has been found that those few moments parents spent engaging in talk while dropping off their children provided immense long-term benefits. The parents gained “social capital,” which might also be thought of as a feeling of community. Parents had markedly lower rates of depression and experienced less financial hardship over the long term, and simply knowing the parents of other children increased the level of trust parents had in the institution. Daycares were especially beneficial in low-income neighbourhoods, where the centres were used as a kind of pipeline for government support services.
Daycare May Help Your Family Thrive
While choosing daycare may be a heart-pounding option for many parents, there is clear evidence children will benefit over the long term. Finding a quality daycare centre like Munchkin Services Pty Ltd, where children are supported, engaged, encouraged and exposed to a positive attitude can help babies and toddlers set the groundwork for later intellectual strides. As kids learn to problem-solve and interact positively with other kids and adults, their parents can get to know one another and increase the social capital they hold in their community.