Have you ever considered preschool or daycare for your child? Though it is undoubtedly a contentious and hotly debated topic, daycare and preschool programs actually have many benefits for children, helping a child’s personal, social, and emotional development, and they can actually be a great investment in your child’s future.
It is important to note that at a young age, children primarily learn through play and socialization and daycares and preschools can help to stimulate this kind of learning. For example through play children develop coordination, improve verbalization skills, establish friendships, and develop creativity. Studies actually show that high quality daycare and preschool programs can actually give children life long advantages, perhaps because they help to improve these much needed skills. For example, children in quality preschool programs are less likely to repeat grades, need special education, or get into future trouble with the law. And overall, children who where previously in a daycare or preschool program are much more prepared for kindergarden.
However, as with any child care, you will want to do a bit of research to find a high quality preschool or daycare program. Ideally, daycare and preschool programs should provide an environment for children that is safe, fun, and secure. Daycare and preschool programs should provide opportunities for children to gain confidence and self esteem, stimulate creativity, and improve self sufficiency. To ensure that any kind of child care program provides a safe and nurturing environment, there are several things that you will want to take into consideration. Consider the teacher to child ratio (the lower, the better, to ensure that your child receives more individualized attention), the curriculum, the qualifications of the staff, etc. And keep in mind before choosing any program you will want to visit the facility. Watch how the staff interact with the children and make sure the facilitates are safe and clean. And keep in mind you will want to find and apply to multiple programs that you like, as often times space is very limited.
Lastly, it helps to keep in mind that every child is different. Therefore, you will want to consider your child’s specific needs and interests when choosing a program. There is no single “best” daycare or preschool, rather it is contingent upon your child and your own views. Overall, however, a quality preschool or daycare program can give your children life long advantages.