They provide enlightening insights about common daycare misconceptions, highlighting its profound role in children's development.
Sending one's kids to daycare has been a controversial option that many parents had to contend with. Parents naturally do not want to separate from their children. They believe that the best care a child can receive is in their own home with parents. So, it can be emotionally taxing for parents to send their kids to daycare. In addition to that, they are also skeptical of daycares providing the best care for their child's development.
However, modern-day parents are trying to change their perspective as more and more parents have started working full-time. According to research done by the Pew Research Center, it was found that in nearly half of two-parent families, both adults worked full-time. This means that most parents simply did not have the time or energy to care properly for kids while handling a full-time job. So, for kids to get proper care the better alternative is to send them to a daycare.
Dr. Micheal Mintz, the associate director of the Child Development Program at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C. spoke about this to TODAY saying, "Psychologists have found 10 adverse experiences that have a pretty significant impact on long-term outcomes for kids and I can assure that you that daycare is not on that list." Mintz himself has sent his three kids to daycare and shares that parents should not feel stressed if the first few visits are painful. In fact, he shares how children adapt to such experiences over time.
He said, "Think of it like sleep training. In the beginning, your kid is going to be crying and be so mad at you. You’ll feel like you’re doing irreparable damage to this relationship you’ve put so much time and energy into. Then, the next morning, you go into their room and they’re smiling at you. They still love you, they still need you and they’re still connected to you."
The same principle applies to sending one's kid to daycare. Mintz talks about how kids would still run back to their parents every day after a tearful dropoff at daycare. Another important fact for mothers to note is that a Harvard Business School study showed that daughters of working mothers earned 23% more compared to daughters of stay-at-home mothers. Sending kids to daycare also has other benefits.
Dr Sara Siddiqui, a pediatrician told TODAY how children could develop a stronger immune system if they were exposed to common colds and coughs. She says, "Developing immunity by being exposed to illness can improve immune health over the long term." In addition to that, kids learn to become more independent and begin practicing essential skills. However, if they remained at home, they would probably have a lesser chance of learning such things.
Mintz also added that toddlers picked up on appropriate social behaviors while attending daycare. He explained, "When a toddler looks around and sees that all of their peers are sitting at a table and staying seated and focused, they will kind of pick up on those social expectations." He continued by saying that if they were at home, they would be spoilt with choices and not have to contend with being socially appropriate.
Finally, it was also found by a 2010 U.S. National Institutes of Health study that children who received quality childcare, performed better on cognitive achievement tests as teenagers. All of these pinpoint the fact that the benefits of sending kids to daycare could outweigh the drawbacks of it. Ultimately, it serves as an early exposure to the realities of the outside world for most children and will aid them as they grow up.