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Every new parent dreads dropping their new baby off at infant daycare when they have to return to work. Not only will they miss their baby, many parents think that daycare will affect their child’s intellectual and social well-being. Others fear that it may threaten their bond with their baby. However, ongoing research has proven that under most conditions, infants thrive in daycare.
Daycare allows them to experience other languages, receive plenty of affection and attention, and playfully interact with caregivers. Small group or one-on-one settings provide the best quality care for infants, but they do exist in group settings.
Infants only require a few things; to feel comfortable, valued, and safe as well as fed. Infant daycare teaches toddlers and infants many things, and there are many benefits for infants.
Children develop their self-esteem and social skills at an early age. Daycare helps with the development of these skills by encouraging, friendships, interaction with other children, and learning experiences through various activities. When infants interact with other adults than their parents, it reduces the anxiety that they may feel when babysitters or other family members care for them.
Infants and toddlers learn about the world around them and other skills through their senses. Daycare stimulates their senses through music, art, and physical movement. Children are encouraged to explore with their senses during these activities.
Routine and Schedule
Daycare helps establish a daily schedule and routine. Researchers have found that children who follow a regular schedule have better nutrition patterns, sleep better, learn how to listen, and to follow instructions.
Strengthen Their Immune System
Several studies illustrated that children who participated in childcare programs before they were two years old were sicker less frequently in elementary school than other children. This research is in stark contrast to what many first-time parents believe.
Language Development and Communication
Daycare is an excellent environment for infants and toddlers to learn how to talk and express their emotions. Some settings include children that speak other languages or more than one. These situations allow your children to experience different cultures and languages.
Daycare Offers Stability
For working parents, daycare offers peace of mind and stability because they maintain consistent environments and routine hours. Having other people devoted to your child’s care with dedicated hours is a wonderful benefit.
Support and Interaction with Other Parents
New parents can benefit greatly from other parents with children close to their baby’s age. Daycare offers opportunities for new parents to meet each other and interact with each other throughout the year. Families who support the daycare and each other really benefit from this interaction. It may also mean new friendships and play dates for the children.
One study by the U.S. National Institute of Health showed that one consistent benefit of high-quality daycare at an early age was those children scored higher on measures of cognitive and academic achievement later in school. They studied more than 1,300 children, and of those, more than 90 percent were in the care of someone other than a parent before they were four years old.
Smoother Transition To Kindergarten and Preschool
Another study by the University of Texas at Austin found that parents who took their children to daycare became more involved in their child’s school life as they got older. The parents benefit because they had more involvement in the structured academic life of their kids. Kids benefit because it’s easier for them to transition from daycare to formal schooling.
While it can be scary to leave your child in the care of someone who isn’t a family member, there are many benefits to infant daycare. Your baby receives attention, stimulation, social interaction, and much more. Parents benefit from a broader support system and more involvement in their children’s academic life. Just make sure that you carefully research any daycare or person you plan on leaving your baby with to ensure that they’ll have your infant’s best interest in mind.