The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development recently indicated that children enrolled in high quality child care centers may gain an intellectual advantage over kids that do not attend daycare. While most types of focused, professional, caring attention to children’s care is advantageous, a suitable day care program can offer several key distinctions that may make all the difference in a child’s social and intellectual development during the preschool years.
Preschool-age children learn a great deal from their peers. Watching other kids take turns, use certain vocabulary, and demonstrate learning skills like reciting the alphabet encourages them to do the same, either from a love of mimicry or competition. They will often learn more from observing a friend than from listening to a parent. Preschoolers will be taught basic social skills by faculty and learn how to interact with others through a variety of activities.
Fun and supervised playtime.
Working off daily energy in a play setting is a great way to give children exercise while having fun. Many or most children look forward to daycare so they can see their friends, play with new toys, and participate in games. Learning these important skills will help to prepare them to exercise their creativity and imagination, as well.
Daycare faculty and staff often hold college degrees or state licensing certifications. They know how to monitor and guide children’s playtime and learning activities, as well as spot problems like illness or abuse. Their job is to ensure that children have a positive and meaningful experience while in daycare by learning to follow a schedule and obey program rules. Timeout and other appropriate disciplinary measures will be applied as needed, usually in consultation with the parent.
Many child care programs offer special events at various times of the year. They sponsor a birthday celebration for each child, visit seasonal places like a fruit orchard in fall or a petting zoo at other times. Guest instructors may offer occasional music, language, or art lessons either free or for an added fee. Holiday celebrations are usually part of the festivities.
Children enrolled in child care programs sometimes learn academic skills in preparation for kindergarten, if they are intellectually and emotionally ready. Some kids learn to read starter books or write their names. They may learn to tell time or tie their shoes, and occasionally even learn basic vocabulary of a second language like French or Spanish.
Although there are many fine nannies providing top quality care to young children, a stellar child care program offers competing distinctions worth considering. Find out what type of local daycare programs may benefit your child’s preschool development. A good source of information is the Wee Watch Licensed Home Child Care website, which has more insights and resources available online.