Becoming a parent for the first time can be a challenge, and whether to send your child to daycare is one of the significantly major ones. While leaving your infant in someone else’s care for hours can be unsettling, many modern moms and dads rely on daycare centers to care for their child while they’re at work. The big question is, do babies develop faster in daycare? There is evidence that exists on both sides. Therefore, let’s explore the topic and determine if sending your baby to daycare can affect their development in a positive way.
Quality of Care is What Matters Most
According to a recent study published by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, children thrive best in high-quality care with a low ratio of caregivers to children. Specifically, children in center-based childcare consistently outperform their peers who are not in center-based care. The study also found that children who attend daycare have better cognitive and language skills, as well as better behavior and social skills.
Higher Academic and Cognitive Achievement
Another study published in Reuters has similar findings. The study found that children who have early, consistent care are more likely to have better developmental outcomes. The study discovered that children who attend daycare regularly scored higher on academic tests in grade school. When they entered middle and high school, they were also more likely to attend and graduate from college.
Improved Social Skills and Confidence
According to Cadence Education, a high-quality daycare environment provides many benefits to an infant’s development. One benefit of daycare is exposure to social settings aka mingling with peers and making new friends. Infants who attend daycare tend to be more comfortable around others and have better emotional regulation, which could help them feel more confident in unfamiliar settings later in life.
The Argument for Individualized Care
Some experts believe that individualized care by a caregiver outside of a daycare center environment may be more beneficial to an infant’s development. Personal caregiver attention may promote optimal development by providing a more nurturing and consistent caregiving environment. Also, bonding between a caregiver and an infant may help the infant feel more secure. Quality daycare centers understand this need and seek out one-on-one attention with infants and toddlers to help facilitate this need.
Learn More About the Child Care Programs Offered by Just Children
There is no doubt that a high-quality care environment is essential for pre-toddler, infant, and pre-school development. While some studies indicate that daycare attendance has positive effects on a child’s development, it’s important to remember that no two children are the same. Some children might thrive best outside of daycare, and others might benefit from a daycare’s social setting. Ultimately, it is the parents’ decision to make. Seek out high-quality child care in your area, and don’t forget to ask for references and recommendations from other parents.