Navigating your way through parenting is often more stressful, thought-provoking, and downright terrifying than anyone can ever imagine. The constant worry about making the right choices was never written in the baby handbook.
From encouraging them to reach their milestones to toilet training and allowing them to dress, it can all feel like one big minefield of confusion. Then comes daycare. Should your toddler go? Is she ready? Are you ready?
There are lots to consider when you start thinking about placing your child in daycare. Take a look at some of the benefits of daycare for you and your child.
Top Benefits of Daycare
Sending your child to daycare may seem like a daunting prospect but the positive effects of daycare on toddlers and older children have been thoroughly researched. They not only benefit your child while she’s there but build foundations for the future.
One of the main benefits of daycare for toddlers is socialization. Spending time and playing with other children of the same age will set a great foundation for starting school and later life. Research has shown that toddlers who socialize will display higher levels of empathy. They will also be able to show resilience and prosocial behavior.
The play settings in daycare environments are ideal for children to practice social etiquette with other children. The development of social skills is vital for starting in life and carrying with you.
Skills such as sharing or negotiating are big learning curves for toddlers but a daycare environment offers a safe space where children can practice and make mistakes. Other skills may include turn-taking and appropriate communication.
Along with learning skills alongside other children, your child will also pick up social skills from their caregivers. If your child is ever in a social conflict with another child, the caregiver can present a solution and show both children how to resolve a dispute. Toddlers pick up on behavioral models quickly, so giving the right examples at this age is paramount.
Getting Ready for School
A quality daycare center will provide your toddler with stimulating activities. This not only engages your toddler and promotes cognitive growth but also sets the scene for school. A range of activities will prepare your child for academic achievement.
For example, children of kindergarten age don’t need to know how to read. However, they will need to have the literary skills that prepare them for reading. Sitting down and reading a story with a daycare class will allow them to pick up on phonics and prepare them for the next step.
Similarly, daycare is a great place for your child to start learning every aspect of academics. It’s the perfect setting to develop a love of learning. Children who know how to enjoy learning and get real pleasure from their achievements are more likely to continue to enjoy learning.
Increasing the Likelihood of Academic Achievement
Academic success starts early. A quality daycare will deliver a quality program that allows your child to have positive learning experiences. Several links have been made to the fact that children who attend daycare are more likely to attend college in later years.
Of course, it isn’t a surety but giving your child the best start in life increases the chances of them becoming successful in adulthood. Daycare is the start of many skills that can help children later on, with exams, homework, and many other academic requirements.
The skills children learn in daycare, like remembering colors, animals, or letters, are all memory skills they will use to recall details they need during tests. The sooner these skills are embedded, the quicker they will become a habit.
Learning how to communicate properly is a big part of a toddler’s world. Toddler daycare offers an excellent opportunity for this. As your toddler plays and explores in daycare, their caregiver will use every opportunity to communicate what they’re doing and offer new language skills.
Interactions and activities are available for your child at every turn so it’s not surprising that most children come away from daycare with improved communication skills.
The better a child can communicate by the time they need to go to school, the easier it will be for them to express their needs. Knowing this may give you, as a parent, some peace of mind because you’ll be confident that your child can ask a teacher clearly when they need something, like to visit the toilet.
When children have the ability to complete tasks by themselves, it boosts their confidence. Competence will always lead to confidence and confidence allows children to reach further goals. Daycare programs are designed to promote independence and confidence.
When children learn that they can do things for themselves and without help, they learn to believe in themselves. That self-believe will be a starting point for them to try new things, make mistakes and try again. It will shape the way that they approach challenges in life and how they set goals for themselves.
Are There Disadvantages to Daycare?
To truly benefit from attending daycare, you should choose your program wisely. The advantages of daycare are vast but only if you choose a quality daycare with experienced and qualified caregivers.
If you choose a daycare for other reasons, like its location or convenience, your child may not get the same level of input. If a daycare doesn’t have the right resources, staff, or experience, your child isn’t going to get the emotional, social, or cognitive lessons they require.
Think about what to consider when choosing a daycare for your child. Explore your options and book visits to each one so you can observe the staff and programs before making your decision. A quality daycare will be able to put your mind completely at ease and you should walk away confident that your child’s needs will be met.
We often talk about daycare like it’s all about the child but considering a parent’s feelings is just as important. Whether you’re considering daycare because you have to go back to work or you want to prepare your child for school, it can still be difficult to take this step.
Up until this point, you may have spent every day with your child. So, the thought of leaving her in someone else’s care can be a daunting one. It’s not quite the same as leaving her with a relative; the caregivers at a daycare are complete strangers to you.
That’s why it’s so important to choose a daycare you’re comfortable with. Along with building on your child’s development, you need to know that your child will be safe and cared for.
Spend some time talking to the daycare staff and get recommendations from other parents who have placed their children at the daycare before. If you’re going to leave your most precious possession in the care of someone else, you need to be sure you choose the best option.
Preparing Your Toddler
Toddlers are often very accepting of change but there are a few key signs you can look out for. Going to daycare is a big change and you may see some behaviors that make you think twice about it. Firstly, your toddler may cry when she realizes you’re leaving.
That’s a normal reaction and the daycare caregivers will know exactly what to do. After a while, your toddler will become more comfortable with you going. Secondly, when your toddler gets home with you, you may notice some more tantrums than usual.
This can be because your toddler is tired from all the stimulation or because something frustrating happened to her at daycare and she now feels comfortable enough to let those emotions out.
Your child will soon get used to the new arrangement of attending daycare and will start to look forward to going.
Daycare: The Best Start to Life
Starting daycare can be something both you and your toddler feel unsure about. However, the positives will always outweigh the negatives when it comes to your child’s development.
If you want to give your child the best start in life, daycare is a fantastic tool to use to cement the skills you’re already working on together. If you’re looking for more great family advice, why not take a browse through more of our articles today?