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Do Daycare Kids Have an Edge?

After making the monumental decision to bring a child into the world, you continue to face tough decisions regarding that bouncing bundle of joy. For instance, do you go back to work and put your child in daycare?
 
But when it comes to working and daycare, some parents have no choice. And even if you do have a choice and have left the working world to stay home, there's always the chance that you will need another childcare option down the road.
 
So how does a daycare child’s rearing differ from a child who stays at home? Do children in daycare have an edge over their peers? It all depends, according to Judith Katz, Administrator of Minee Subee Early Education & Childcare Centers. She says that a simple daycare’s primary goal may be to keep your child safe, while a “good childcare center is dedicated to helping children prepare for kindergarten – working with that child on colors, shapes, numbers, body parts, and letter recognition.” Katz explains that children enrolled in childcare and early education facilities have the opportunity to learn more about socialization and peer interaction. Children also learn about sharing, manners and even conflict resolution-- important life skills that children who stay at home solely with mom or a babysitter simply aren’t exposed to in the same way.
 
However, as with any situation, there are advantages and disadvantages. Clinical Psychologist Sharon Fried Buchalter, Ph.D. says, “The decision to put a child into daycare is a personal one and different options suit different families.” Below Buchalter has provided some pros and cons of daycare:

Advantages of daycare:

  • They offer a structured environment.
  • They can be more affordable than a nanny.
  • Parents can meet other parents with whom they can socialize, share common experiences, and even team up to provide support (e.g. babysitting, playdates, carpools, etc.).
  • Arrangements tend to be more stable, which may work out better for parents with strict work schedules. For example, if a teacher at the daycare is ill, there will be a substitute; whereas if a babysitter or nanny gets ill, the parent may need to take off of work.
  • Staff members at good daycare facilities are usually trained in early childhood education and are able to strengthen and encourage a child's growth.
  • Good daycare centers incorporate a lot of different activities, such as art projects, reading, and playtime. Children get an opportunity to pursue interests and are exposed to a wide variety of learning activities.
  • Children can benefit from socializing with other children, which they may not get as often if they were at home with a caregiver.

Disadvantages of daycare:

  • Many parents find daycare costly. Often parents find that one salary is only enough to pay for the daycare and therefore they choose to have one parent stay at home with the child instead.
  • Children in daycare tend to get sick more often than other children because they are surrounded by other children and germs. That being said, it does help build immunity.
  • With daycare, parents may have to pay extra fees for late pickup or early-drop off. Also, many daycare centers are closed on holidays, which could cause issues for parents who rely on that care while they have to work.
  • Some daycare centers do not allow children to come when they are sick, causing parents to miss work when their little ones aren't feeling well.
  • With daycare, children are less likely to get the one-on-one care that they would with a stay-at-home parent or caregiver.
If you decide to send your child to daycare, thoroughly check out the facility first: make sure it's accredited, meet the teachers and talk to other parents. If you choose a nanny or babysitter, check their background and credentials to be sure they are qualified.
 
The bottom line? Parents who choose to put their child in daycare want the same things as parents who choose to stay at home with their child: a kind, loving, safe environment in which the child will thrive.
 
*Information above provided by education.com

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