Preschool & Daycare
How a Daycare Center Will Benefit Your Child
Whether your child is in nursery school, pre-k, or another level, the benefits of a daycare center are clear and well-documented. For instance, studies have shown that when children attend all-day programs at a daycare center, their scores are better on tests such as literacy and math. On the other hand, children in a shorter daycare program, such as 2.5-3 hours, did not score as well; and these differences in achievement carried through until the children finished first grade at least. Here is a closer look at some of the advantages of daycare for your child, and what to look for in a daycare center.
One of the main advantages of having your child at a daycare center will be the stimulation and intellectual development that will result from this environment. It is true that children learn at different rates, and educators have also chronicled that there are different levels to learning among children. The atmosphere at a daycare center is one in which learning is encouraged. Your child's interest, imagination, and intellect will be stimulated in many different ways. For instance, there may even be a bilingual program, such as a Spanish immersion preschool program, available. It has been documented that significant brain development occurs in children who learn more than one language. This can only be a wonderful advantage for your child now and in years that follow.
A daycare center is an ideal set up for your child’s social development. There will be other children there around the same age, and possibly some a bit older and some a bit younger. In addition, there will be teachers and the support staff, too. All of these individuals provide your child with an opportunity for collaboration and communication. The development of these skills is critical to your child's socialization. Interacting with others, contributing to group activities, and establishing a sense of self within a larger community all foster your child's social development.
Development of Team Spirit
Participation in group activities and projects is highly supported at a daycare center, whether it is unilingual or a bilingual preschool program. Your child will be encouraged to not only develop a sense of self but also to carry that individuality into being apart of a team. Integrating on this level is effective, but it is especially productive in a bilingual curriculum because it provides the opportunity for developing verbal skills as well as a sense of cultural awareness. A language immersion program has the effect of broadening a child's world view, which is a perspective that the child carries with them throughout their entire life. Early on, children are cognizant of the fact that reality is inclusive, and that diversity is part of what makes up the world -- the “team” that they know and live in.
The Daycare Center: What To Look For
In terms of what to look for at the daycare center you are considering for your child, it's probably a good idea to start by comparing the number of teachers to the number of children. This ratio will give you a good indication of a number of things. First, you’ll be able to estimate the amount of individualized attention your child will receive from their teachers. In addition to that, it will also give you a good idea of the safety set-up of the daycare center. If there are too many children for the staff to manage, the center might not be as safe as you would want it to be. Next, you'll want to pay attention to the cleanliness procedures of the daycare. Again, if the center is overenrolled, the cleanliness might fall a bit short. Tying into all of this would be the center’s license and credentials, so be sure to check on those. And of course, talk with other parents -- their firsthand experiences will provide useful testimonials.
Having a child who is ready to enroll in a daycare center is such an exciting time for the entire family. By doing some preliminary research and understanding the many benefits of a daycare program, you will be on the right path to finding the ideal center for your child.