Daycare Gives Children a Head Start in Life

By J. Christy McKibben

Daycare centers. Isn’t that where children just sit in front of a tv, play with toys, have meals, and take naps? Not hardly. In formal daycares there are an abundance of activities a child can engage in. Some of the best qualities a daycare center offers are social, cognitive, and parental benefits (Bonus!). Leaving your child with strangers? Yes. Scary thought. But, in no time you and your child will get to know all of the daycare workers very well.

Your child will thrive while attending a high quality daycare.

Socialization

Socialization is one of the best reasons for enrolling your child in a daycare center. In daycare your child will learn to play and get along with other children. The children learn how to share, interact, and learn from their peers. Your child will learn about teamwork, as well as coping skills.

Your child will likely have a smoother transition to kindergarten after attending a daycare center. By attending daycare before kindergarten, children learn to cope in a structured environment in a school-like setting.

Fostering Independence

Just as important as socialization, your child will also learn to become more independent. Children are given the opportunity to explore and try new things. Your child will begin to feel more confident spending time alone reading, doing their own art projects, and other activities. Adding this new found independence to those newly acquired socialization skills will be extremely beneficial when your child enters a K-12 school.

Cognitive Skills

Firm schedules are the key to a well-flowing day. You’ll find that most daycares have full calendars of activities every hour of the day. Cognitive skills will be developed and nurtured in your child’s daycare environment. Your child will have reading time on their own, with friends, and with the teacher. There are an abundance of fun art activities—your child will be so proud to show you them at the end of the day! Music and dancing are other activities children love to participate in. Children begin to write the alphabet, and then words, in daycare. Children learn their numbers and how to count. All kinds of subjects are discussed from spring to winter, cars, boats, dinosaurs, and other animals. Your child may even be able to teach you a thing or two!

Structure

Children often have structured schedules at home, but it’s still beneficial for your child to be in a school-like setting, and following the daycare’s schedule. It’s healthy for children to spend their day in a somewhat formal setting—it will help them to be prepared for K-12 school.

Parental Benefits

Parents can really benefit from using a daycare, even if it’s just part-time. Some of the benefits include:

  • More affordable than a private nanny
  • Parents at the center can meet and support each other
  • Give stay at home moms and stay at home dads much needed breaks. You know, to do things like grocery shop, clean the house, and run errands J
  • Licensed daycares have inspections
  • Stable care—no worries if a teacher is ill or on vacation, the daycare center will just get a substitute—it’s not your problem!
  • Staff is usually trained on what should be expected developmentally, as well as how they can best nurture those skills

Benefits Outweigh Drawbacks

There are, of course, potential drawbacks to using daycare centers—but there are fewer than you may think. Separation anxiety will come and go, but it’s better to do it now, as opposed to when your child enters kindergarten. Your child may catch colds or the flu more often than they would at home. All the more reason to teach them to thoroughly wash their hands. Yes, your child may learn, and repeat, a word they shouldn’t know. Don’t worry, they will get over it—I know from personal experience!

Enrolling your child in a daycare center is a healthy choice. It will prepare your child for kindergarten and far beyond. Even if you only enroll your child part-time, that time will be exceedingly beneficial for your child in so many ways—and for many years to come!

-J. Christy McKibben

Images via Pixabay by picjumbo_com and markusspiske

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