Is Your 2-Year-Olds Toddler Ready for Daycare?
Is Your 2-Year-Olds Toddler Ready for Daycare?
We often think that daycare is a childcare solution for kids who don’t have a stay-at-home parent. But daycare has become so commonplace that even some stay-at-home-moms are considering it for their 2-year-olds toddler. In fact, the mom’s communities are buzzing with discussions about the benefits to toddlers of structured time away from parents, which include opportunities to learn from other adults and to socialize with other toddlers. Nevertheless, with fast-paced lives and work demands, present-day parents may be required to put their children in a daycare centre. However, the question in most parents’ minds is whether which age is the most suitable for daycare.
When Should Kids Start Daycare?
When do children need to be around other children in order to develop normal social skills? At around the age of 2, a child should be able to have enough balance to jump up, with both her feet leaving the ground. She can climb a staircase holding onto the railing, using one foot at a time. She can make scribbles holding a pencil. She may not have a preference for either the right hand or the left hand at this age, or she may start to favour one hand over another. She can feed herself pretty well now, getting most of the food in her mouth, but she is by no means a neat or willing eater. She can stack a tower of blocks pretty high at least eight to ten blocks.
This is when you should encourage your child to achieve her physical development goals by playing with her. This is the age where children tend to have a lot of energy and curiosity. Toddlers entering this phase in their lives are growing and exploring and need special attention in a daycare setting. If you are enrolling your child at this age to a daycare, they will be able to exercise creativity and active participation. Furthermore, some daycare may allow babies as young as a few months old, whereas other centres may be suitable for toddlers and older children only. Hence, you need to find a daycare centre that is best suited to your child’s age and other requirements.
How Do You Know If Your 2-Year-Old Child Is Really Ready For This Step?
Most daycare will start accepting children at around 6 months and above, but that doesn’t mean your child is magically ready for daycare when he reaches that age. Readiness for daycare has more to do with where your child is developmental. Is he socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively ready to participate in a daily, structured, educational program with a group of other children?
And just when you thought your toddler is ready to start daycare, she’s 2 after all but you aren’t quite certain. Whether to enrol your child in daycare is a big decision but there are some key indicators that can help you to decide if she’s ready to take that first step into a daycare setting. And if you decide she isn’t quite ready yet, relax. It’s fine to start the following intake or even next year.
- Your child can handle being apart from you.
Whether your child has been in a daycare situation before or not, it can be a big change. Consider whether your child seems ready for this new environment. are they ready to be apart from you for a few hours a day? Do they handle change or transitions well? At two to three years of age, toddlers handle separation from caregivers in a variety of ways such as cry, some need a transitional object while others might separate easily. There is no right or wrong response to separation, and each child is unique. However, after a period of warming up, most toddlers end up adjusting well but don’t be afraid to change plans if your child seems overly distressed by the change.
- Your child can communicate their needs.
We all know that young children develop language skills at varying rates. Some three-year-olds can speak in full sentences, while others mostly talk in three to four-word phrases. So you might want to consider if they have adequate language skills to explain their needs. Can your child communicate that they are hungry, need the bathroom or are hurt? Does your child feel comfortable talking to other adults, like the caregivers at daycare? With your miraculous mom powers, you probably always know what your 2-year-old is trying to say, but it’s good to consider if other adults will be able to understand your child as well.
- Your child can keep up with a regular schedule.
Some daycare follows a predictable routine, for instance, playtime, snack, playground, then lunch. There’s a good reason for this. Children tend to feel most comfortable and in control when the same things happen at the same time each day. So if your toddler doesn’t keep to a schedule and each day is different from the last, it can help to standardize his days a bit before he starts daycare. For example, you can start by offering meals on a regular timetable or stick to a bedtime ritual.
After all, you should always consider your toddler’s temperament whether they are very active or extroverted, a daycare with limited playtime or strict activities might not be a good fit. If your child loves being outdoors, then a school that focuses much of its time on indoors activities is not going to be a hit with your 2-year-old toddler.
We all want our children to learn new skills in daycare, however, how each daycare accomplishes this task varies widely. Finding a daycare that fits well with your child’s innate temperament and interests will likely help you both be happier. Readiness for daycare can include a mix of physical, emotional and social characteristics unique to each child. By carefully considering your child’s needs and personality, you will be able to decide whether your 2-year-olds toddler is ready for daycare. Last but not least, one of the best things about sending your child to daycare is that he gets to interact and socialise with the same age-group children, which he may miss out on at home.