The decision to place your preschool-aged child in day care is a major one. There are many factors to consider; some are positive, while others can be less reassuring. Yet the benefits of childcare services are significant: aside from giving parents the chance to pursue their careers and goals, day care benefits young children in many ways. Read on to find out what your child can learn in a properly run day care facility.
Sharing, taking turns, asking permission, being polite, obeying the rules: these are skills that are best learned and internalized early in life. Indeed, they will serve your children well, from the sand lot all the way to the boardroom. Children are notoriously self-centered little folks; the sooner they learn to live harmoniously with others, the greater the odds that they will grow up to be pleasant, well-adjusted adults.
Early Learning Opportunities
While day care centers do not provide an academic environment like a school does, most provide simple learning opportunities that are age-appropriate and fun. Many facilities use seating arrangements that have children facing each other instead of the blackboard. Face-to-face interaction gives them the chance to learn from one another and develops early interactive skills that will serve them well later on in life. When choosing a daycare, look for one that adheres to a curriculum that you feel comfortable with.
Language and Motor Skills Development
Being around other children can have a profoundly positive effect on your child’s language development. The desire to communicate with their peers, usually within the context of play, naturally stirs them to use language more effectively in order to get their point across.
Parents have a tendency to ‘talk down’ to their young children because they do not think they can understand much at a tender age. But well-trained day care facilitators know the development milestones children typically undergo. They can thus encourage and direct your child’s language development accordingly.
Play also boosts the development of your child’s motor skills. Often, parents do things for their young children rather than giving them the chance to complete a somewhat difficult motor task on their own. But you’ll be amazed at how quickly children develop their fine and gross motor coordination skills in the context of play.
Day care centers that are well-run by professional day care providers are a boon to two-career families. By providing children with excellent socialization and early learning opportunities as well as improving their language and motor coordination skills, they benefit the children greatly as well.
The cons of sending your child to daycare are fairly innocuous, but that does not make the pain and stress of saying goodbye to your little one for the first time any less difficult to bear. As easily as children can learn positive social cues, they can also pick up fairly less appropriate ones. What daycare parent hasn’t had to sit down and explain to a child that just because their friend does or says it, doesn’t mean they should, too. Germs are also abundant in areas where children congregate, meaning the spread of bugs and viruses to both your child and you are a sure bet.
When you make the decision to send your child to daycare, do your research to choose the best option for you and your child. Then, you can easy knowing that while separating might initially be difficult, the positive effects of learning around other children are profound.
Beth writes on behalf of Classroom Essentials Online, an online retailer that sells high quality daycare tables and chairs, and school furniture. Beth is currently reigning champion as “Best Aunt ever” (at least according to her 7 year old nephew), and she enjoys spending time with family and her job as a horseback riding instructor of kids.