Having a kid is both an exciting and stressful time. You have just given birth to an amazing being but they take up so much of your time. After a couple of years you might see yourself wanting to get back into the workforce. However, you have a dilemma; do you send your child to a childcare centre or have a nanny?
Whilst there are a lot of advantages to having a nanny, sending your kids to a childcare centre that provides diverse socialisation and a change of environment can be beneficial for their development.
Sending your kids to a childcare centre actively helps them to prepare for school. It is essentially a school that operates for younger kids and caters to a range of needs due to the rapid development from ages 2-5.
Those who attend a childcare centre are able to adopt many of the skills that are valuable for school learning such as problem solving and being able to cope with extended periods away from their parents. This factor also helps parents to cope with extended periods away from their young ones – something they are unlikely to have experienced previously.
Early learning is extremely important for kids and sending them to a childcare centre at a young age immediately exposes them to a range of new activities, a new environment and the need to learn social and language skills.
Kids are encouraged to learn in a childcare centre environment with a range of activities available. The addition of other children is likely to ignite a competitive nature within the young ones further aiding their development. This element of learning can, at times, be more difficult to achieve at home.
Those who attend childcare centres are introduced to a completely new group of people to interact with. Those who stay at home will only get one-on-one interactions with adults and it is often the same adults over and over again. At a childcare centre the kids are exposed to group socialisation as well as experiencing interactions with other adults.
Here, kids will learn to interact with others in an appropriate way and share experiences together as they learn to develop relationships. Developing social skills early in life is important as it is difficult to train these in or out when they are older. There is no sugar-coating when it comes to the kids so they quickly learn the rights and wrongs of social interaction
Having a set schedule ensures that the little ones are always busy and don’t experience periods of boredom. Additionally, it allows them to get used to following a schedule and having a routine of day to day activities that will be necessary later in life.
This links in well to the preparation for school element but it goes beyond that as they will have to follow a schedule outside of school for things like sport and, when they eventually become adults, have to work full time.
Every parent knows that eventually their child will need to learn how to interact with and form positive and productive relationships with other people. Through doing this, your child will naturally begin to make friends that they will learn and play alongside.
Preschool is one of the first fixed environments where your child will interact with others their age on a routine basis. This means they will see the same kids each week and will start to see themselves as part of a community of peers.
As a parent, there are several things you can do to help prepare your child so that they have positive experiences with other children and learn the unspoken rules of social decorum.
When it comes to preschool age children and how they interact, there’s a broad range of normal behaviour. By the age of three, most children are regularly interacting with others their age through child care and playgroups.
At this stage, some kids may already be forming ideas of who their closest friends are and will be able to identify them by name. You’ll notice them look for specific children when they arrive at the centre and will often only play with them for the remainder of the day.
By the age of four, most children understand the difference between their close friends and other children they happen to know. At this stage they will begin to show favouritism towards their friends in terms of team selection in games or when sharing toys.
The important thing to remember is that children are all very different and won’t all respond in the same way to making friends. Some children may be very energetic and playful while others may be more introverted and find the typical play experience overwhelming.
Preschool is a great environment for you to observe your child’s organic reactions to others their age so that you can help them break out of their shell.
Kids need to learn friendship skills organically and make mistakes along the way. As they play with others they will build skills about how to respect boundaries, understand consent and the golden rule.
Through roleplay games and playing house, kids naturally mimic roles they see their parents and other adults take on. This gives them a chance to practise societal roles in a play setting.
For example, one child may choose to play as a shopkeeper selling groceries to the other kids who are shoppers. This gives the children defined roles and encourages them to cooperate in order to achieve the fantasy.
It also means that if every child wants to be the shopkeeper, they will need to engage in debate and reasoning to work out a solution. While this can sometimes lead to fighting between children, it is still good for them to experience conflict and practise how to overcome it in a social setting.
You can assist your child in learning the value of friendship and mutual trust by intervening at key moments. For example, you can teach your child about the values of sharing and being gentle while they are playing with siblings at home.
Another example is playing games at home, where you can show your child how to win and lose with grace as well as why they shouldn’t cheat.
Ultimately, your child won’t have trouble making friends as long as they are given a safe and positive environment in which to interact with other children. Our early learning centre is the perfect place for your child to learn and play while you’re busy with the other parts life
At Whiz Kidz, we have developed a new and fresh childcare model that incorporates all aspects of childcare development. We believe in creating a system of care that is holistic and enriching, one that expands your child’s numeracy and literacy skills, physical growth and coordination, creativity, social skills and emotional awareness.
It is also important, however, that this process of childhood development starts at home. As a parent or guardian, there are several things you can do to help your child get the most out of their childcare experience.
Currently, we have centres in Northmead, Baulkham Hills and Delahey. Our services are available to children all throughout Sydney. At the moment, we provide caring services for children in Keilor Downs, Sydenham, Taylors Hills, Taylors Lakes, Burnside Heights, St Albans, Caroline Springs and Albanvale.
Here are a few tips you can consider when enrolling your child in a childcare centre.
In reality, your response and approach to your child attending a childcare centre will influence their outlook as well. You can actually transfer some of your own anxiety onto your children, meaning if you’re anxious about your child heading off to day care, chances are they will be too.
Instead, build a positive environment at home and show your excitement at the prospect of day care. Develop a strong relationship with your child’s carers because hopefully your child will try to mimic that same bond. It’s all about setting an example.
A lot of children are really scared of leaving their parents and spending several hours at a childcare centre. Some children suffer from separation anxiety, which makes it harder for them to make friends and socialise with the other children. Leaving a “comfort item” can help reduce this stress and ensure that your child knows you are coming back to pick them up. Your departure is only temporary and the object acts as a reminder.
It may seem cruel but dropping your child off at the childcare centre and leaving quickly is likely the best option, even if there are some initial tears. Hanging around to stop the tears can actually just exacerbate your child’s pain and fear.
However, there should be no “disappearing acts.” The last thing you need is your child not knowing that you have left; this can degrade their sense of trust in you. Establish a quick drop off routine to maintain normality and help your child adjust to their new circumstances.
Don’t rush your child into day care. In actuality, the process should be gradual and slow. There is no set rule as to when a child becomes used to childcare life. However, gradually introducing your child into the program over several weeks has proven to be the most beneficial for the child’s wellbeing and comfortability.
A key component of ensuring your child has a positive childcare experience is you explaining their schedule. Tell them what to expect for nap time, rest and outdoor play. If your child has some idea of what is happening, chances are they will be more inclined to meet this challenge head on.