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What are the benefits of sending my child to daycare?

Play _and _child _development

For parents and caregivers—married or single—who are trying to juggle the many needs of a growing family while also trying to work or go to school, daycare is one of the most beneficial options you can choose for your child. Daycare allows a child to develop socially and academically as well as providing a safe, nurturing foundation for future success. In fact, studies have shown that children, including babies and infants from 6 months to 4 years, receive significant benefits from a daycare setting including structure, instruction, social lessons, and emotional development. There are benefits of daycare for both children and their caregivers.

Benefits of Daycare

1. Structure and Schedules: Because daycare offers structured programming throughout the day, even the youngest child learns how to adjust to a schedule. From learning to get ready for school to the many activities planned throughout a day, daycare teaches children valuable
lessons about being on time and the benefits of a planned day. From songs and storytelling to outdoor recreation, these collaborative activities also help a young child with their intellectual growth and emotional development by learning to work and play with others. Parents and caregivers also benefit from knowing that their child is in a place where they will be busy, active, and learning new things—all under the supervision of trained staff.

2. Academic Achievement: When a young child starts daycare, they take their very steps toward a lifetime of learning. A study by the U.S. National Institutes of Health found young children who spend time in a high-quality daycare tend to have higher learning and academic achievement when they grow into their teen years. In fact, of the 1,300 children studied, over 90 percent had been in some sort of daycare setting before the age of 4.

3. Emotional Development: One of the best ways for children to grow socially and emotionally is to expose them to other children who are their own age. In a daycare setting, these children learn to connect and interact with other children and adults which will help prepare them for kindergarten and grade school. If a child is not around other children or adults, they will not be as prepared to learn, work and play with others. When they are around other children, they learn to problem-solve and share while their personalities are starting to develop.

4. Adult Interaction: Young children typically learn about adults by being around their parents, caregivers, and other senior family members. A daycare setting provides an opportunity for children to see other adults as mentors and authority figures who can provide positive guidance and support. Studies show that high- quality daycare providers also help children by providing much-needed encouragement, positivity, and how to discourage negative interactions.

5. Good for the entire family: Although sending a child to daycare may at first be difficult for a parent or caregiver, there are many long-term benefits for the entire family. A quality daycare can give a child a foundation for academic and emotional growth, which also can help them better interact with their own family and peers. Parents and caregivers also benefit by feeling secure and confident that their child is being taken care of—allowing them to focus on their career, educational pursuits, or taking care of younger children in the household.

By ABC Quality Team on September 22, 2020