Effects of Daycare on Children
By: Alex F Nowell
Latchkey kids are a thing of the past and for good reason. Child care is a necessary part of parenting, and there are many services available today to assist with this tough challenge. Societies now encourage children to learn more, become responsible at an earlier age, and to put it simply, grow up faster.
If you can understand some of the ways children benefit from childcare, you will feel you are helping your child grow into a well rounded, happy child instead of punishing the both of you by sticking him in daycare.
Babies need interaction with other children. It’s never too early to start engaging him in activities with other children, whether they are other babies, toddlers or older children. Learning to interact with other children prepares a child for his first encounter with school. A daycare environment is a perfect place to get a child used to other children as he will have to do when he enters preschool or kindergarten. Daycare is a gentler environment, there are less rules and more flexibility than strict teachers may impose.
You can still interact with your child while he is at child care. Offering to volunteer, especially when your child is in attendance, will make him feel more comfortable when you are not there. Making sure you attend when it is your child’s birthday is an important goal to strive for. Most child care providers and day care centers make a party on a child’s birthday, as do kindergartens and grammar schools.
If a child has been in daycare there will be less chance of separation anxiety when he enters school. He has become used to you being away from him; he has learned to make new friends and can be content without the undivided attention he normally gets from you.
Aside from learning socialization skills, he may also have the opportunity to learn some of the basics such as the alphabet and numbers. This pre-preschool learning environment teaches your child a basic understanding of what will be expected of him once he enters kindergarten. He learns to listen and accept the information that will be thrust upon him in school. Entering school for the first time is challenging, children benefit from childcare by already having exposure to a classroom like environment.
Once the child enters school, daycare can help with homework. Some daycare facilities also offer after school extracurricular activities like scout meetings, and on-site gymnastics instruction. Once the child is in school his horizons begin to broaden.
The teachers should display a genuine love for the children, with experience and training in child development and psychology, allowing them to quickly detect a problem with a student before it becomes uncontrollable. Parents should remain in contact with the child’s teacher, receiving progress reports and observing classroom behavior on a regular basis. Any instance in which a parent is deliberately left "out of the loop" in their child’s education, even at this early stage, is cause for concern, and should be considered an immediate warning sign that all is not as it should be. In this case knowledge is power, and allows a child to quickly be removed from an unsuitable situation before damage is done that is irreversible.