I am attending an online counseling session for my generalized anxiety disorder, and one topic that my counselor and I discussed was on bringing my 3-year-old to a daycare center. She suggested that this can help while I have my own time and not worry about childminding for only a brief period. This can aid in my worries and help me focus on my other activities. I am amenable to the suggestion, but now my fears are centered on how to select the right daycare center for my son. My counselor first educated me on the benefits and downsides of the daycare center and gave me the following tips on how to proceed.
Advantages Of Day Care Centers
Daycare centers observe the structured school-like environment. Centers have defined rules and protocols for parents to follow and keep. Caregivers are trained and certified in handling early childhood education. Together with other staff who are responsible for doing menial tasks and office work, they have a supervisor who ensures a smooth operation all throughout the center.
It provides a formal structure of curriculum that promotes literacy, language, social and emotional development. They also conduct activities that are suitable combinations of skills and are appropriately designed for the child’s age (like singing, drawing, physical activities, dancing, and storytelling).
Almost all daycares have a license for health and safety to operate. Before they can run, they need to comply with the regulations related to the safety of children. Physical features and all materials used inside the daycare center are evaluated concerning the safety and security of the children.
“[A]ccredited daycares have to go through a lengthy certification process, so you have some idea of what you’re getting,” wrote Vanessa Lobue, PhD. “The process itself varies by state, but most states have very specific criteria that a daycare center has to meet to become certified, and the center often needs to be inspected by a knowledgeable representative who ensures that it meets a certain set of standards.”
Your child can have that opportunity for social interaction with children of the same age and other age groups as well.
You can meet other parents at a daycare center whom you can exchange information concerning child-rearing, swaps stories on housekeeping tips, and sometimes help each other if problems arise.
Lastly, studies have shown that children who separate from parents early grow to become independent, confident and self -reliant.
Disadvantages Of Day Care Centers
Of course, there are two sides to a coin. As a mother, I need to know what are the terrible attributes of bringing your child to the daycare center. Expect to recognize the adverse effects of daycare centers and get ready to counteract these as needed.
Your child is less likely to get that one on one attention from the caregiver. Each worker in the center is maybe caring for up to three children. There are daycare centers that offer a one-on-one approach, but of course, the fees for this type of service may also affect your budget.
Dona Matthews, PhD, wrote, “Look for well-trained caregivers who are warm and responsive, and settings that provide high adult-to-child ratios, in a good balance of stimulation and calm. Quality makes a difference to social, cognitive, health, and emotional outcomes.”
Children are exposed to different behaviors, so they are most likely to pick up weak habits from peers. They may imitate or copy the speech and actions of other children, like when a child doesn’t speak nicely to others or exhibits harmful behaviors like hitting and biting to get some attention.
Children are also prone to get some illnesses like common colds and viruses from other children that they meet every day. Most centers won’t provide care for sick children.
“Daycare children, particularly younger ones, also experience a rise in respiratory tract and other infections, mostly upon entry to daycare,” wrote Noam Shpancer, PhD. “Research has also found elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol in children attending daycare.”
Daycare centers run for specific hours. There will be an extra charge for extra hours of care. During holidays, centers usually are close so you may need substitute caregivers if you cannot look after your child.
Once you have decided to send your child to daycare, it is essential to find the right fit. The right-center will try to adhere to the needs of the family and provide an environment where your child will grow, learn and have fun.
Evaluating A Potential Child Care Center
The following are important factors to consider when scouting for likely daycare centers:
Location. Choose a convenient area form your house and workplace. Access to public transportation must be considered as well. In emergency situations, the area must easy to reach.
Operating hours. It is crucial to find centers with working hours that are suitable for your time. Choose a center that can accommodate your schedule. More than 10 hours of operating time are quite sufficient.
Staff members- you may check about licenses and certifications of staff members. Referrals from reliable people are highly considered. Skills, expertise, and experience count a lot. Ordinarily, professional caregivers are well trained in using first aid and dealing with emergency situations.
Cleanliness and hygiene. Check if the facility appears orderly and clean. Make a close observation of practicing cleanliness in the area. Mats and toys must be cleaned daily.
There are many other things to consider when selecting a daycare center like accreditation of the right authorities is essential for it to be considered as stable. The safety of centers includes having evacuation plans during the emergency, hazard free and secure.
The initial reaction from your first visit is also necessary. Trust your gut. Do you feel positive about the center? Do you feel comfortable with the place or is it a happy place for your child to be its second home?