The Sunny Side of Daycare

9.09.2010

My theme last week, for the most part, centered around the idea of placing my little two year-old in daycare.  At the time, it was easy to point out the disadvantages--the anxiety of leaving your child in the care of someone else--the perpetual rounds of colds and sickness.  Oh yes, my Lil' Lewie and I both caught colds for our first time this season.  Not fun!

Still in the midst of all the negatives, there are positives to daycare.  In fact, the Psychology Department Chair at the college where I work reminded me of this fact.  She claimed that daycare
  • increases children's socialization skills
  • teaches children to share, cooperate, and play in groups
  • helps children with their verbal and literacy skills
  • strengthens their immunity (over time) to colds and illnesses
I found several articles confirming these facts that I wish to share with everyone below.  I, being the nerd that I am, decided to make my own list of positives too.  (Even if it's just to convince myself that this can be a beneficial experience for him.) 

First, during the daycare orientation, I learned that the teachers provide a carefully structured environment of art time, snack time, outside time, lunch time, reading time, naptime, etc. etc.  Most studies conclude that children who have schedules tend to cope better emotionally and perform better in school.  While I tried to have a routine at home for Lil' Lewie, there were days when we would have to veer off schedule for doctors' appointments, play dates, and necessary errands (a.k.a. the trivialities of life).  In daycare, the fluctuating time schedule and frustrating errands do not exist.

Lil' Lewie's Classmates
Another benefit is the various skills he will learn from his different play segments.  Throughout the day he will be doing art projects, music and movement, science exploration, and even unique activities like Yoga.   While we did a little of this at home, I'm far from being an expert in many of these fields.  Also, I don't have specialty items at home like a water table, sand table, magnifying glass station, or clay table.  A good day care provides well trained teachers in each of the subject areas and the specialty items/resources to teach these subjects.  The truth of the matter is that he will learn more, simply because there are more people to learn from...

Finally, daycare gives Lil' Lewie the ability to learn how to cooperate and socialize with children his age.  In this setting, he will have the chance to meet new children and choose his own friends.   He needs time to build up relationships and friendships--a day out at the park or even a play date every once is a while cannot provide the same social environment that allows Little Lewie to break out of his comfort zone and meet new people.

For more info, please check out this Baby Center Article about the pro's and con's of daycare and this article from SelfGrowth.com about the positives of daycare.

Yes, if I had a choice, I would continue to be a SAHM with Lil' Lewie for another year or two.  However, since this isn't an option for us right now, I'm glad I can rely on a well-structured daycare to provide a new experience for him three days per week that offers socialization, structure, lesson plans, exploration, and even some self-discovery.

The Art Station
The Magnifying Glass/Exploration Station

10 comments:

  1. I'm glad you have found peace with your situation, Annette. I totally understand that you'd rather be at home with Lewie for a couple more years. I also understand the need for additional income to cover living expenses. Daycare does have its positive attributes.

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  2. Oh that daycare looks wonderful! I love the discovery center with the magnifying glasses. I would have died to play with all those art supplies. I was a daycare kid, and I have to say, I loved it. I had a ton of friends that I looked forward to playing with, and I did art projects every day (with glitter even!), something my mom would have completely balked at. I'm glad you can see the positives in daycare, even if it wasn't your first choice.

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  3. well I am so glad that you've found comfort in knowing he will be well taken care of and making new friends at the same time! I went to daycare as a child, because my mom had no other choice, I grew up fine, very social and had TONS of friends too-so hang in there, it'll get easier as you see him bonding and forming relationships with other kids!

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  4. This looks like a wonderful place! I agree with what you've said, and it sounds like you are happy with your choice.

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  5. I totally agree. My daughters are all grown now and they are wonderful young ladies (proof that they were not irreparably harmed by the experience) and I could tell when I took my girls to school, which of their classmates had never been away from mom. Great post!

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  6. You sound much more upbeat and at peace with this decision! I think it's great that you're focusing on the positive aspects of daycare, it's where you guys are at in life now and there's no sense in fighting it. And it looks like a great place!

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  7. Good for you - the sunny side of the street is so much brighter!!

    Can I remind you of another great positive to daycare: it allows mothers to go to work!!

    x

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  8. Well said everyone. Thank you so much for your thoughts and incredible positivity--they mean the world to me!

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  9. Good job for focusing on the positive because there really are so many great things that children can benefit from at daycare. Good for you and this looks like a wonderful place!

    I bet Lewie is having a blast, good job Mom :)

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  10. new follower from friendly friday!
    http://tospendorsave.blogspot.com/

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