The benefits of daycare vs. being raised at home. In the world of child-rearing, this is a topic of debate. Let’s be honest, we know that there are benefits to both sides of this coin. But for this article, we’d like to share the specific benefits of sending your child to daycare for their early years.
Structured Activities in Daycare
Kids (and adults too!) benefit from predictability and structure in order to feel safe about the world around them. The sense of safety, and knowing that their needs are met, make babies and children want to explore the world! The exploration helps them learn better.
At daycare, children are provided with a full array of educational activities that are essential for growth and development. These structured activities also make it easier for parents at the end of the day knowing that naps, meals, and learning requirements were met for the day.
Benefits of Daycare with Socialization
In a daycare setting, kids learn how to share, socialize, solve problems, and be a team player. While they learn these behaviors a teacher or supervisor (who typically has a background in early childhood development) direct negative behaviors immediately. Children are given solutions to solve their problems and use their voices to convey how they are feeling under supportive supervision.
They learn how to socialize with other children around them and learn how to socialize with new adults. A high-quality daycare setting will have teachers and staff who are there to encourage your child to learn, engage with others, problem solve, and be positively supported throughout the day.
Easier Transition into Full-Time Schooling
In daycare, children immediately learn how to abide by structure, activities, and schedules. These activities are very similar to a school setting. They are taught to follow directions by adults that are not their parents, work independently, and develop a general knowledge of how to act in a group setting with their peers.
Likewise, in a high-quality daycare pre-reading and math skills are a part of an everyday curriculum, giving your child the skills they need to enter school. Since most children need to know a slew of skills before they enter kindergarten, daycare professionals are able to structure their play to help them develop these skills at an earlier age.
Better Academic Success in the Future
A long-time study funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) found that children who were in a daycare setting tend to score slightly better academically. This was compared to children who stayed home with their parents or received low-quality child care. These children were able to observe socialization, parallel play, and are forced to solve problems. “High-quality child care appears to provide a small boost to academic performance, perhaps by fostering the early acquisition of school readiness skills,” said James A. Griffin, Ph.D., deputy chief of the NICHD Child Development & Behavior Branch.
Less Reported Stress for Moms
Let’s face it. Parenting can be a thankless job. On one hand, we love our children and love seeing them happy and healthy. On the other hand, catering to the constant needs of children can be tiring and at times, not feel rewarding. (Especially when your child is in the throes of a meltdown!)
A Gallup Poll done in 2012 reported that stay-at-home-moms reported higher levels of depression, sadness, and anger. Keep in mind, this study took many different factors into account but overall, stay-at-home-moms had more feelings associated with stress. While working full-time and daycare may not work for every family, it is worth noting that the poll came to the conclusion that having an extra income may help reduce these stress levels as well.
Less Colds Later On
An interesting study done by JAMA Pediatrics found that children who attended daycare in their first three years of life were less likely to catch colds during their elementary school years. It’s important to note that these same children were more likely to catch a common cold during their first 3 years of life than children who stayed at home.
Basically, we don’t believe that catching a cold is a “benefit” at all. It just depends on how you want to look at it. Either way, your child will most likely be catching a cold at some point in their lives! When they build up their immunity is dependant on whether or not they attend daycare first.
The Benefits of Daycare
For some parents, it’s hard to send their young children off to daycare. Especially when staying at home isn’t an option. Whatever your decision may be, just know that there are many benefits of daycare!