It’s a hotly debated topic — one that makes parents feel all kinds of emotions. And no, it’s not whether a child should only eat organic food, but something much bigger.
It’s the role child care plays in the development of a baby.
Despite the guilt proponents some want to dump on working parents, there are studies to show what most parents who utilise quality child care facilities already know—child care can have a very positive impact on your baby’s development.
A 2013 study in Norway researched 75,000 children at 18 months old and then again at 36 months old. At both points, researchers found little evidence linking behaviour-related issues to the amount of time spent in child care. This is one of the largest studies on the issue, and the results should assure parents that putting their children in quality child care facilities is a smart and sensible option.
One of the number of benefits associated with child care centres is socialisation.
“Socialising the child, even a baby, is a big plus of going to a care centre,” says Teresa, Lead Educator, 0 – 15 months, Petit Early Learning Journey Marian.
“Sometimes with play groups, you’ll have all different ages from toddlers and babies up to kindy, and when children go to centres, they socialise with the same age.”
Socialisation experiences at an early age, where even babies are learning to share, take turns and play well with others, provide the first level of understanding how to work together.
Obviously, these skills expand and adapt as we grow, but these early interactions help shape abilities.
So much to learn
Not only does socialisation help relationships between children, but it also strengthens children’s interactions with educators.
“The children learn skills from different people when they are at centres, so the babies might learn certain skills from one room and the educators there, and then different ones from other educators in another room,” says Teresa, Petit Early Learning Journey Marian.
“Children aren’t just learning from mum and dad then, but also it’s their teachers helping the children develop skills.”
Here are some of the skills your child might gain while enjoying time at a child care centre:
- Sharing and compromising
- Early problem solving techniques
- Learning to take direction from other adult figures
And so much more!
Every parent wants the best for their children, especially when it comes to academic endeavours.
Working parents can feel even better about sending their children to child care centres when they hear about a study done in the United States that found children scored higher on academic achievement tests as teenagers if they spent time in high quality day care as young children.
Children who attend child care centres from an early age are exposed to a variety of learning experiences simply based on the fact that even six months difference in age results in different levels of development. For example, if a child is the youngest one in the room, they are seeing the alphabet and working on letters earlier than the rest of the students.
On the other hand, if a child is the oldest in the room, their prior exposure to material could help build confidence as they move to kindergarten.
Time flies when you’re having fun…
Of course, stay-at-home parents try to provide stimulating environments—toys to play with, colouring and other art tools, pretend play, etc.
However, parents also need to do the dishes, finish a load of laundry, answer a phone call or take time to pay the bills. This means that the child is spending more time playing alone or, perhaps, watching television.
If a child attends a quality child care centre, then there are educators on hand whose job is to schedule activities that will engage and stimulate your child’s brain. Everything from singing songs during story time to running off steam on the playground could be an integral part of your child’s fun and engaging schedule at a child care centre.
So how do you find that “high quality” centre?
Teresa from the Marian centre suggests that if you are considering whether a day care centre is right for your child, then go stand outside the centre and have a listen.
“Listen to the children playing outside and how the educators are talking to them, and if you like what you hear, then you should go inside and have a look,” says Teresa. “If the parent isn’t comfortable with the educator, then the child will pick up on that and the child won’t be able to make a connection with the educator either. So it’s important that the parents feel comfortable with the centre.”
Because when you feel good about where you send your little ones every day, you won’t feel any of those guilty feelings that creep up when certain people discuss daycare versus staying at home.
You’ll know that your child is getting the best of both worlds—loving parents and a facility with excellent care that parents trust.
Take a tour and see
Why so many parents trust Petit Early Learning Journey centres with their babies. Come and take a tour of any of our 18 locations, and you’ll find the high quality child care centre you’ve been looking for.
And you can lay to rest any of those mixed feelings you might hold about sending your child to a day care centre. Your child will blossom here at Petit Early Learning Journey, and you’ll feel good knowing your child is well taken care of each and every day!