Are You Still Deciding The Best Age for Daycare?
Are You Still Deciding The Best Age for Daycare?
Does nursery daycare harm children? Is there an alternative? Should mothers stay at home? For decades, these questions have panicked parents. In fact, when to start your child in daycare is a personal decision and depends on factors such as the length of parental leave, ability, financial responsibilities or other childcare options. But at what age is the best for your child to start their daycare? Even though it’s a decision many parents agonize over and one many have felt guilty about. But if you’re considering day care for your child that guilt is really unnecessary, mama. Daycare doesn’t just give parents the time they need to provide for their family, it also provides children with important social interactions that may improve their behavior. Most daycare centers will not take babies under 8 weeks of age, and many facilities are not equipped to handle the special needs of infants with medical concern.
What Age Do Daycares Start Accepting Infants?
Most of the daycare centres in Malaysia will accept children from 8 weeks old and above. And while many parents believe that this is too early to send a child to daycare, parents that have a limited maternity leave may not have a choice. However, the best age for a child to start daycare is at least 12 months old because the biggest consideration is how your child reacts to being away from you. Nevertheless, when you begin looking at different daycares in your area, it’s a good idea to ensure that the staff you choose has experience working with kids at the age of your child.
Choosing the right age for daycare is not an easy decision. While it is true that there is no such thing as the right age, there are a number of pros and cons to starting your child at any age. If there is anything most educators will agree upon is that daycare is good for your child.
So, What is the Best Age for Daycare?
Babies between 0 to 18 months
Babies often thrive in situations where they have a lot of one-on-one attention from a caregiver and home-based care is great at this stage. However, child care centres can work well if there are a small number of babies per caregiver which allows them to respond immediately to the babies needs. However, at this age, babies need time to develop an attachment to and trust in their caregiver and also need a clean yet safe environment as they start to explore the world around them.
Toddler – 18 months to 3 years
Babies and young toddlers have similar needs when it comes to child care. Toddlers respond well to caregivers at this age but they require lots of patience and energy. Because children begin to test their limits and they need someone who can help them understand the world they live in. However, toddlers are extremely active and need a safe environment that allows them to explore. Going to a daycare centre offers toddlers a chance to socialise with other younger babies and the opportunity to participate in activities they might not be able to do at home.
Preschoolers between 3 to 5 years old
At the age between 3 to 5 years old, they are slowly growing up and able to behave well. Going to a childcare centre gives them an opportunity to practice their language and learn social skills where they are able to build peer relationships and play with their friends. Preschool can be very beneficial in helping children at this age learn many early skills and provide children with the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of activities they might not be able to do at home. Hence, they are developing a sense of independence. They will also still need to follow instruction and behave appropriately.
Is It Ever Too Early for Daycare?
The best age to start daycare is largely dependent on the daycare your infant attends and how your child responds to being separated from you. Some studies state that starting your child in daycare too young may actually increase infant stress levels. But some of the daycare centres allow babies as young as a few months old, but some centres only suitable for toddlers and older children only. Therefore, you need to find a daycare centre that is best suited to your child’s age and other requirements. Even if you are a full-time stay at home parent, it can be helpful for infants or toddler to gain experience in a group care environment before they start preschool so they are comfortable being looked after by adults other than their parents. There is indeed no such thing as the best age to put your child in daycare as it varies for everyone.
What To Look For In Starting Early At Daycare?
Be sure to ask a lot of questions about whether the daycare is licensed, the caregiver’s qualifications, the ratio of babies and caregivers as well as the structure of the day. Babies need a clean and safe environment as they start to explore the world around them. It is important to establish attachment and trust to caregivers for babies 18 months and younger. Continuity of care is the most important aspect at this stage if you were to start your infant at daycare at a very young age. Babies need time to develop an attachment to and trust in their carer.
While choosing daycare may be a difficult option for many parents, there is clear evidence children will benefit over the long term. Finding a quality daycare center where children are supported, engaged, encouraged and exposed to a positive attitude can help babies and toddlers set the groundwork for later intellectual strides. Nevertheless,there is no clear indicator to tell you when you and your child are ready for childcare. Having to return to work may force you to send your child to childcare at a very young age. But many parents look to between one and two years of age. But as for knowing when the best age to start daycare arrives in your home, only you will know. After all, it’s your decision. And one that you and your partner should discuss and decide solely amongst yourselves.