Baby Care

When Should We Start Daycare?

While not a luxury for everyone, with more and more of us working from home, delaying child care is an increasingly common consideration. Not the one I would have thought to consider before visiting a few daycares because as anyone who has tried working with a child at home knows, it takes 10 times longer to do anything. Looking at child care centers in my area, however, it immediately became apparent why children always get sick once they start! Not to mention that the rations were 1: 6… 1: 5 if I was lucky. How can a caretaker take care of six children of about one year old? And the food… oh the food! Don’t even get me started on the food! We are talking about canned pasta of the “healthy meal” type.

There are many things to consider when choosing a child care center, and it is often difficult to accept that the “perfect” seldom exists.

“Sending your child to daycare and at what age to start is a very personal decision and should depend on your family’s needs and what you feel comfortable with,” says Carole Kramer Arsenault, IA, author of Newborn 101 and founder of Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny. “Most daycare programs start accepting children when they are six weeks old. However, many experts agree that waiting a little longer allows parents and child to bond and get used to their new family life. “

In a Perfect World, Dr. Bethany Cook, clinical psychologist, health services psychologist and certified music therapist, says she believes young children can meet all of their needs at home and don’t necessarily need a daycare before kindergarten.

“Maybe a year before you start kindergarten, enroll your child in daycare 2-3 days a week for a few hours,” says Dr. Cook. “It will help them get used to being away from home, expose them to a more structured environment and start working on developing and practicing social skills. “

Before the age of 5, children go through several phases of development compared to their peers.

“Children 2 to 3 years old participate in parallel games,” says Dr. Cook. “This means your child is playing in their own world while a peer can play right next to them, but the two do not interact with each other. Associated play occurs from the age of 3-4, and this is when a child begins to interact with others during play, but not for long periods of time. Around the age of 4 and up, children begin to engage in cooperative play with each other and therefore play dates become more important in helping to develop social skills of peers.

That being said, according to Dr. Cook, young children learn positive and proactive social behavior by interacting with older children (or adults) who can model appropriate responses / behaviors, rather than fighting with a peer for one. favorite toy. It is important to remember that children under 5 learn about themselves, their bodies, how to name and control their emotions and impulses, etc. It is easier for young children to practice new life skills in a place that is safe, loving, supportive and has potentially fewer distractions than daycare

Kramer Arsenault goes on to point out that waiting can also allow the child to settle into a routine with sleep patterns and feeding schedules. She points out, however, that babies start to develop a sense of “foreign anxiety” around the age of nine months, so if you’re going to daycare, it’s best to start the transition before that time. nursery

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If leaving your child nine hours before they speak gives you anxiety (it was the case for me) or if, like me too, you worry about teacher / child ratios, a nanny or sharing nanny can be a great option.

“Nannies can generally offer longer babysitting hours, more flexible schedules and may even be able to offer an extra set of hands around the house for laundry or cleaning,” says Kramer Arsenault. “If you go the nanny route, an added benefit is that child care can begin in just a few weeks.

When it comes to behavioral and developmental issues when it comes to child care versus children who spend their days at home, actual research results are mixed and you can find studies that show benefits of child care. two sides, so be confident with the choice you make knowing it is the best for your family.

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