Published on July 26th, 2016 | by Home and Family0
Want Your Child to Have Fun While Learning? Try Using a Day Care Center!
Working parents know the struggle — what to do with your child if he or she is too young to be in school, or during holidays when school is out? What if you can’t get your child right after school ends and you’re uncomfortable having him or her be home alone? Babysitting and nannies can be expensive and often not available at the times you need them to be. Luckily, there are other alternatives to keep your child safe, occupied, and even entertained. A day care center or after school program can often be the answer to your prayers. There is sure to be affordable daycare somewhere in your community or a child care center. Some businesses have even started sponsoring daycares within their office space for working mothers to bring young children and leave them under the supervision of hired supervisors. If that’s not available to you though, a locally run daycare is probably the best way to go.
Who’s Doing Daycare?
Since under one in three children have a full time parent who stays at home, many families are looking at daycare to fill in the gaps. (In 1975, over half of children had a stay-at-home parent.) Around a quarter of children who are five years or younger go to some kind of child care arrangement, whether that’s a day care center, a nursery, or a preschool. Just over 10 million kids are in after-school programs but the parents of almost 20 million say they would have their kids participate in an after-school program if there was one in their area.
Many Americans (over two-thirds) think the government or companies should be helping fund child care for parents who work full time. Since over 11 million children take care of themselves after school and before their parents get home, that sentiment is widely echoed all across the United States.
What Are the Benefits of Having My Child In a Day Care Center?
Above all else, keeping your child safe is imperative. Knowing that your child is under supervision when you can’t be there will bring you peace of mind. You know they won’t try to turn the stove on, let strangers in, or get lost. The buildings themselves are secure and there will always be someone watching your child whether they’re taking a nap, participating in activities, or getting exercise.
Many parents are probably concerned about their child simply going home after school (if old enough) and staring at the TV until they get home, not partaking in useful activity or getting exercise. A day care center or childcare center runs a program of activities (some weekly, some daily) that children can partake in. In younger children, this is especially important, as in the first years of a child’s growth, around 700 new neural connections form every second. If they’re partaking in activities that stimulate the brain, it can help even more to form! For parents of children too young to be in school, day care can offer that educational support while the parents are away. For example, did you know that reading aloud to kids helps stimulate rain development, but only half of infants and toddlers are read to regularly by their parents?
How Can I Find a Daycare Center Right For My Kid?
If you have options, you should look around. Young children will often not want to be separated from you at first, so don’t worry if they’re anxious or cry the first few times. Talk to other parents who bring their child to the center and see what they have to say about the services, supervision, and care provided. Talk to staff as well and try to peek in on day-to-day activities to see what it might be like for your child. Above all: listen to your child after he or she has been there awhile.
Childcare doesn’t have to be a major stressor or drain on your budget. There are plenty of ways you can make ends meet, provide your child with an educational and active place to go while you’re at work, and still maintain your career.