Should you or shouldn’t you send your toddler to a daycare? This decision is hard for both working moms as well as stay-at-home moms. With all the horror stories about daycare doing the rounds, it’s quite understandable to be concerned about your child’s safety. I too was against the idea when my siblings sent their wards to a daycare. Yet, it was they who convinced me to enroll my son into one. I’d reluctantly agreed, but not before doing a bit of research. I looked up for one with a good reputation; took a tour of the facility, and met the staff before making the final payment. Today, I’m glad I did it. Here’s why:
1. Away-Time From Parents
Being the only child, our son was always around us. This made him very clingy. So, it was important for him to be away from us to develop his self-confidence. Letting him go on the first day was emotionally challenging for me. But seeing that he easily blended with the well-trained staff was a big relief.
2. Improves Social Skills
Since my son’s interaction was limited to only us, he wasn’t too friendly with anyone else. But when he socialized with other kids and the staff at the daycare, he quickly got over his inhibitions. Soon enough, he was at ease in the presence of other people at home apart from his parents.
3. Expert Curriculum
The curriculum at a daycare facility is developed by experts in the field of childcare. It focuses on the needs of kids as young as 2 years old. The staff at the daycare, who are trained professionals, are well prepared to handle any situation with young kids.
4. Well-Monitored Facility
The staff at the daycare facility are hired after stringent background checks. Also, the entire facility needs to be under CCTV surveillance all the time. Only when a daycare meets these criteria will it get a license to operate. If you find any of these missing, don’t go for it.
5. Cognitive And Learning Development
Toddlers usually grasp and learn things faster at this stage. Though we tried teaching our son new words and meanings at home, it wasn’t a well-structured approach. However, from the time he joined the daycare, he rapidly learned new things like colors, alphabets, shapes and body parts.
6. Disciplined Routine
Unlike home, where kids eat, sleep, or wake up at their own will, a daycare teaches them discipline. Within a few weeks, my son knew the time his classes started, when he could play outside, and stuck to most of his eating and sleep-wake routines even during weekends.
7. Self-Dependence Early On
I’d not seen this coming. Soon after he joined the daycare, my son started doing little things without my assistance. He’d remove his shoes, keep them in the shelves, put his plate and glass in the kitchen sink after a meal, and even placed his school bag in the same place every day – all by himself!
8. Exposure To Different Cuisines
Toddlers being fussy with food is quite normal. And trying something new at home and making your child eat is a herculean task. But, easily ate the simple yet wide variety of food at the daycare in the company of his friends. This made him less fussy with food. He was now open to new flavors and tastes.
9. Helpful Feedback From Caregivers
The teaching staff at the daycare regularly scheduled a one-on-one with the parents. They gave comprehensive feedback about areas where our son showed improvement. This proved helpful in dealing with our son when we shared a similar situation at home.
10. Learning From Peers
It’s hard to believe, but kids learn a lot from their peers than their parents. Seeing someone of their age do something which they haven’t done spurs their curiosity. My son learned to use a fork, sang popular songs, and even played games at home which he learned from his friend.
11. Cleanliness Routines
Be it washing their hands before and after a meal, trimming their nails or brushing twice a day – kids easily adhere to these basic cleanliness routines when asked to do so by their teachers.
12. Learning New Crafts
At home, we often resort to giving gadgets to kids to keep them engaged, which is quite harmful to them. This isn’t the case at a daycare. There, they learn new skills and crafts like painting, origami, dance, etc., – skills which they keep them engaged at home too.
13. Well-Prepared For Mainstream Schools
In all, the skills that my son learned at the school and the time he spent there boosted his self-confidence. A year later, he ready to join a mainstream school. Not surprisingly, I found that he easily adapted to his new school routine without much trouble.
Whether you wish to enroll your toddler into a daycare or not is a matter of choice. As for me, despite my initial reservations, I’m glad I chose to do so. If you too wish to do the same, I’d recommend thoroughly looking into the daycare’s credentials and taking a tour of the facility before entrusting your little one to them.