What is the Best Age to Put Your Baby in Childcare?
As a parent, one of the inevitable decisions that you will have to make is determining the right age to put your baby in childcare. While most parents know that childcare will eventually have to be a part of their child’s life, the struggle stems from figuring out whether the timing is right for both you and your child. Many parents struggle with separation anxiety which may result in the postponement of their child’s introduction to childcare. Other parents become more focused on what age is most beneficial for their child with regards to cognitive, emotional, and social development.
If you are a parent who is struggling with this decision, then you should not feel alone. Many parents battle with various external factors and find the commitment to childcare incredibly intimidating. However, your decision should be based on your child’s needs as well as your circumstances.
To help you make the right decision for your family, we have outlined what children in different age groups need from a childcare centre and a guide for establishing the best age to send your child to day care.
What do different age groups need from Child Care centres in Sydney?
What do different age groups need from Child Care centres in Sydney? From birth to 18 months, babies require one-on-one attention from educators, making it pertinent that the childcare centre you select has a dedicated baby program. For babies to thrive, continuity with educators and their environment must be present. This allows them to trust their educators and develop healthy attachments. The safety and security of a childcare’s environment is also integral as it provides an opportunity for infants to safely explore their world. At this stage, there are a few milestones that a baby should meet. A trained, experience and competent educator will be able to identify these milestones and let parents know if there are concerns with their child.
At Young Academics, we know how important this stage is, especially to nervous parents leaving their babies for the first time. At all our centres, our qualified educators focus on the speech and language development of your child, promote communication skills, assist in building your child’s language and more.
Young toddlers are very similar to babies with their needs. They require attention and love to interact with educators. Trained educators will know how to manage toddlers as well as help them understand the parameters of the world that they live in. This is especially important as toddlers will explore their world even more than infants.
Social interaction with children of the same or similar age can also be advantageous for this age group because children begin to perceive their individuality within their community and begin to gain skills while communicating with other children.
The team at Young Academics foster toddlers’ development by encouraging their curiosity, improving their literacy through the reading of stories and by encouraging clear communication from children. The environment at all our centres also contains purpose-built areas to facilitate safe exploration.
Preschoolers require opportunities to practise their language and literacy skills as well as develop their social skills. This age group becomes keen to build peer relationships as well as play with them. They should have access to age-appropriate resources and games/tools that facilitate play-based learning. The daycare centre should offer learning opportunities that may not be available to the child at home.
Young Academics capitalises on the development opportunities of this age group by helping them to promote self-assertion through words, promoting creative thinking through rhymes and stories and by encouraging social interaction through group activities.
How do you determine the right time to enrol your child in care?
Choosing the best time depends on your child’s needs, their personality and your family’s schedule. It is not possible to determine ‘the perfect time’ as every child is different and will respond differently to varied timings.
Our best recommendation is to consider your child’s personality as well as the following factors before you reach your final decision.
- Confidence level of your child.
- Willingness to socially interact.
- How well they adapt to new environments.
- Whether they are keen to participate or rather observe.
- Their ability to handle noise, divided attention from educators, and their interaction with other children.
These factors do not only reflect your child’s personality but also how they will react to spending time at a childcare centre. If they crave consistency or your child is in the baby/infant age group, then you should either look for a childcare centre that can accommodate this or, wait until your child does not need a consistent environment (this usually comes with age).
While there is no perfect age, we hope that the information in this article helps you to make more informed decisions about the timing of sending your child to one of our centres. For more information about Young Academics and to find out how we can make your child’s transition a bit easier, contact us today on 1300 668 993.