Finding the best and worst ages of kids for daycare is among the first things to determine as a parent.
Early childhood parenting can come with its definite triumphs and turmoils especially when you have to get off your maternity leave and head on to work.
If you have caught yourself in a similar predicament, finding a suitable daycare may be the best way to not only keep your child safe and secure but also facilitate holistic development.
Daycare is a safe space for children to play and develop that also acts as an aid for parents who have a tight work schedule.
Daycares aim to provide children with a safe environment that provides your child with ample opportunities to develop social, emotional, cognitive, physical, gross motor, and fine motor skills.
In fact, the benefits of Daycare go beyond providing parents with a helping hand, these institutions promote children to socialize with children of their age group and develop crucial social skills like cooperation and communication.
While finding the right daycare for your child isn’t hard enough, determining the right age for them to start off can be a daunting task for most parents.
If you are a parent or an immediate caregiver planning to enroll your younger one in a daycare institution but are confused if your child is ready to start, do not worry.
Here is everything you should know about the best and the worst age for daycare to help your child start off on the right foot.
What is a Daycare?
Daycares often provide a safe environment for children when parents or immediate caregivers are unable to take care of their child due to being occupied with work or hectic schedules.
Daycares provide care for children as well as help in setting routines, and schedules, and have facilities like grooming, feeding, and hygiene.
These institutions do not follow the traditional education pattern meaning it has flexible hours, school breaks, and holidays.
Children who are too young to be enrolled in a preschool are often enrolled in a Daycare institution.
Daycares promote children to engage in fun activities, socialize with other children in the classroom, and learn essential life skills that help them easily transition to the traditional school environment.
What are the Benefits of a Daycare?
During the initial stages of development ideally, parents and especially mothers are considered to be the sole caregivers for infants.
But when maternity leave ends and the parents have to go back to work, daycare centers often come into play.
While giving their child to complete strangers can be enough to give shudders to any new parent, Daycare Centers integrate more benefits than you may think.
If you are a parent or an immediate caregiver apprehensive about enrolling your child into a daycare center, we’ve got you covered.
Here are some benefits of enrolling your younger into a daycare center that will definitely seal the deal:
- Provides children with a safe and structured learning environment
- Includes professionally trained staff to provide optimum care for your child
- Helps children develop their communication skills, social skills, and language skills
- Promotes children to indulge in age-appropriate play activities with their peers and reach major gross motor and fine motor skill milestones
- Allows children to easily transition to the traditional formal education environment
- Promotes children to interact with their peers and develop crucial social skills like confidence, cooperation, discipline, and collaboration
- Fosters the qualities of independence and self-reliance in children by helping them easily cope with separation anxiety
- Promotes children to develop order and structure from a very young age.
What is the Best Age for Daycare?
If you are planning to enroll your child in a daycare facility but are confused about the best age for their admission, do not worry.
During the early stages of infancy, babies are highly vulnerable and often rely on their parents to cater to all their basic needs and requirements.
Infants between 1 to 12 months require special one-on-one care from their parents or immediate caregivers since they are unable to autonomously maneuver in their surroundings.
Hence enrolling your child into a daycare center after they turn 12 to 14 months of age can be the ideal age to start.
According to research, children can start their daycare journey as soon as they turn 12 months of age.
Toddlers between the ages of 12 months to 2 years are ideal candidates for a daycare facility.
This is because tiny toddlers have different developmental needs and requirements than infants and thrive when provided with opportunities to indulge in explorative play.
Toddlers are exceptionally active and highly curious and often require individuals who can understand their behaviors and provide them with age-appropriate tools to embark on a journey of holistic development.
Daycares are perfect for toddlers between the ages of 1 to 2 years as these centers provide children with ample opportunities to develop their social, emotional, cognitive, and physical skills.
Furthermore, Daycare centers have highly trained professional educators and staff that help facilitate optimum holistic development in children along with providing toddlers with a safe and secure environment.
How Long Does the Child Stay in a Daycare?
Children can be in a daycare facility up until they turn about 3 to 4 years of age.
By this point, your child does not require excessive care or nurturing from daycare and instead requires educational stimuli to develop basic cognitive, gross motor, and fine motor skills.
Children, after they turn three years of age, are ready to pick up new educational stimuli and acquire new skills.
Hence, they require activities that not only develop their skills but also challenge them to push through and venture out of their comfort zones.
What is the Worst Age for Daycare?
The worst age to start Daycare is during the early stages of infancy when the child is between 0 to 12 months.
During this stage, the infant requires extra care and compassionate one-on-one attention from their parents and immediate caregiver.
Infants also need to bond with their parents and especially their mothers and are highly vulnerable.
Apart from the early stages of infancy, children between the ages of 3 to 5 years are also unsuitable candidates for daycare centers.
Children between the ages of 3 to 5 years are highly active and require challenging activities to brush up their cognitive, physical, social, gross motor, and fine motor skills.
During the 3 to 5 preschool stage children do not require the nurturing and comforting environment of a daycare.
Hence it is best to enroll children between the ages of 3 to 5 years in a preschool that integrates more challenging activities and caters to their developmental needs and requirements.
Signs that your Child is Ready for Daycare:
- Children have a strong bond with their parents but are able to conduct basic activities for brief periods of time
- Children show a high interest in the world around them
- Children are starting to communicate through sign language and one-word phrases
- Children who are beginning to communicate their fundamental needs and demands like food or hunger
- Children who have a regular sleeping pattern