When your child reaches the age of two or three, you may be considering returning to work, either full-time or part-time. Though it will still be hard to leave your child, your child is more able to be cared for by other adults at this stage. But you will have some decisions to make when it comes to childcare while you're at work. You could hire someone to babysit your child in your home or their home, or you could send your child to daycare. Surely, there are pros and cons to both options. However, for many children, daycare offers some benefits over in-home babysitting. Here's a look.
Education from a trained employee
Many daycare programs actually involve some educational components. The children may learn their ABCs and colors, how to say certain words, and about certain concepts like nature and the seasons. At a daycare, these subjects are usually taught by someone with training and knowledge in education. So, this person will know the best ways to teach young children effectively and in an engaging manner. While your babysitter may be able to teach your child certain concepts, chances are they don't have the same expertise.
Starting the formal education process early will benefit your child later on when they enter preschool and kindergarten. They may be a bit ahead of their peers when it comes to rote knowledge, and they will also be more adapted to learning in a formal setting.
Socialization with other children
Some babysitters may watch more than one child at a time, but typically, your child will be the only one they're watching. At daycare, however, they will get the opportunity to meet many other children their own age. They can start learning how to form friendships, play along with others, and share. Many daycare centers separate children by age, so your little one will get to interact with others at their same maturity level. This is an opportunity most kids don't get at home, even if they have siblings, since the siblings are not of the same age.
Social skills are key as your child matures and attends school and then later enters the workforce. A good social start at daycare will continue to benefit your child in most anything they do.
If your babysitter is sick, you'll have to find a backup. If you are going to be late one night but the babysitter has plans, you have a real struggle on your hands! These won't be problems at a professional daycare center. They take care of staffing, so there is always someone there to watch your kids. If you'll be late one night, you may have to pay them an extra fee — but you can count on them watching your child. You can also choose not to send your child to daycare one day, or to add days to your schedule, without worrying about disrupting the daycare's schedule. With a babysitter, you'd need to consult with them ahead of time about any schedule changes.
More interactive toys and activities
No parent can provide their child with an endless supply of toys or entertain them with new activities every day. There's just not enough time or money! But at daycare, your child will get to play with a greater assortment of toys, which they will enjoy. They'll also get to partake in other activities, like playground games, coloring, singing, acting, and the like. This will broaden your child's horizons and help them develop their interests. They may discover they most like running, reading, coloring, or singing, and that discovery may lead to them cultivating this interest in the future. If they stay home with a babysitter, they may not discover these same interests because they may not be exposed to the same activities.
Daycare offers benefits for both parents and children. Visit a child care center like Learning Tree Schools in your area today, and learn more about what they have to offer.