The Main Benefits of Childcare

The 5 Major Benefits of Childcare

Ever wondered what are the main benefits of childcare?

If you have been considering childcare and wondering what the effects will be on your child, you can rest assured that the evidence is clear that the major influence on your child will remain the family unit. While many assume that in a perfect world  a child could remain at home under their parent’s care there is much evidence to suggest that entrusting a child to childcare has many benefits.

What is childcare?

young toddlers drawing at childcare

Childcare now forms an essential plank in family life and early childhood education.  The different forms of childcare and daycare available in the marketplace allow children to develop socially, cognitively and emotionally while their parents participate in the workplace. Formal child care is usually provided by long day care, outside school hours care and early childhood education centres. Childcare provides care for babies as young as six months, activities for 1 year olds at day care, socialisation, play activities  and learning opportunities for toddlers and preschool age children.

The benefits of daycare

Choosing daycare is simply a necessity for many families requiring two incomes to make ends meet and while the choice to send children to daycare can create some anxiety, there are many benefits of childcare that can make the choice a little bit easier.

There are numerous studies that demonstrate that there is no negative impact of sending children to day care compared to keeping the child at home in the care of their parents. In fact there are some studies that show that there may be some advantages to sending your child to childcare facilities.

So what are the benefits of childcare and daycare? Here are the five main benefits.

1. Better preparation for school and kindergarten

One of the great benefits of childcare is that children quickly become accustomed to a structured routine that helps them to learn a sense of belonging and appreciate the rules around activities beginning and ending. Activities for toddlers in childcare are structured in such a way as to encourage their enjoyment and anticipation of regular activities such as story time or singing.

This early introduction to structured activities helps them to make the transition to school or kindergarten much easier.

2. Potentially better cognitive development

Attendance at high quality childcare centres that have a focus upon extensive carer/child interaction, cognitive boosting activities have reported seeing the child’s cognitive abilities develop further than they otherwise would. There have been some studies that show teenagers who have attended quality childcare centres in their preschool years had higher cognitive abilities and academic results than those who did not. Furthermore, a thirty year study conducted in the United States revealed that those preschoolers who attended quality childcare centres were four times more likely to obtain a college degree.

Professional childcare staff are trained to support and challenge the child to reach the next stage of development – this approach combined with practical activities that encourage the application of numbers and the recognition of colours.

3. Better socialisation skills with peers

One of the great benefits of group time in early childhood is that children learn from an early age how to relate to others. Kids can gain the full benefits of spending time with each other in a safe, structured environment where there are some clear boundaries.

The socialisation skills that they learn while having positive interactions with children in childcare will help to make them better communicators. There is some academic evidence that shows children in childcare are more able to adjust their non verbal communication to suit the age of the child that they are playing with. Being in a safe structured environment with children of their own age allows kids to solve problems, learn to share, and work and play with others.

4. Benefits for the family as a whole

While the process of dropping children off  at childcare and picking them up later on can seem to be quite a hassle, there is now some evidence that suggests that those few moments spent chatting to fellow parents can be quite valuable. Simple social interaction with other parents helps to remove feelings of isolation, creates a social network and builds social capital for parents.

Studies indicate that parents who engage in these seemingly trivial activities are less likely to suffer from depression. Simply knowing other parents at the facility helps to relieve feelings of anxiety about the centre and allows friendships to flourish over time.

Some parents who are financially stable may elect to return to work for professional or mental health reasons. 

5. Health benefits

While the childcare experience will almost certainly see the child succumb to more colds and viruses in their preschool years, the reverse applies when they start attending school. The early interaction with, and exposure to others, results in children developing a resistance to common viruses 

While there is no good time for a child to fall ill, many would argue that missing school due to illness has far more serious developmental consequences than missing daycare. 

As well as boosting the child’s resistance to infection, childcare attendance may help in assisting the child’s willingness to try a wider variety of nutritious foods that aren’t usually on the menu at home. Studies show that children are much more likely to try new foods when daycare staff modelled eating that food by sitting and eating with them. This willingness to try new foods from an early age will help parents to introduce new healthy food options as the child grows and develops

Conclusion

Children sitting outside eating fruit at childcare

The benefits of childcare go far behind having someone to look after the children while you are working. 

Now that you are more aware of the potential benefits of childcare when using a quality childcare centre you can make a decision that will be suitable for both you and your child.

If you would like more information about childcare or how you can best take advantage of the services available, the team at Jumpstart Childcare are willing to assist you. Please contact us today for more information.