All parents struggle with the idea of staying home vs. sending their children to day care while they work. There are many parents on either side of the fence, so, let’s look at the pros and cons.
Things to Consider
Firstly, finances are usually a big deciding factor as to whether a parent will stay at home or send their child to a day care centre. Sometimes, families cannot afford for one parent to stay at home, while others can send their child to Guardian childcare centres across Australia. Another concern may be the distance to a day care centre – if it is too far from work or home, parents may be reluctant to put their child into day care. There are also emotional considerations, like the disposition of the child – some tend to adjust more readily to going to day care than others.
The benefits to sending a child to day care are many, as are those of staying at home with your little one. Often, day care can provide a fantastic environment for activities in games, nature, and arts, while improving social skills, cognitive abilities, and intellect. Children who attend day care tend to score much higher on measures of academic and cognitive achievement, too.
What’s more, attending day care tends to encourage independence in children who learn to do an array of things on their own from early on.
While there are plenty of benefits, there are also drawbacks to consider. Children who attend day care from early on may catch illnesses and colds as they are exposed to a host of germs compared to stay at home kids. What’s more, day care children spend hours away from home, which may prove frustrating and tiring.
But, there are also disadvantages to stay at home parenting. For instance, children might not learn the social skills that day care children learn from an early age. They may not mature as quickly, either, and they could suffer from separation anxiety later when they need to start school. Parents who remain at home all the time can also find the situation difficult at times. Those who spend 24 hours a day caring for a child tend to become fatigued and risk isolating themselves socially from other adults.
Society tends to take sides on this subject. There are traditionalists who believe that a mother ought to stay at home with their children instead of leaving them in day care each day. Then there are those that believe parents ought to work and that a stay at home parent is lazy. However, there are many people who do believe that a child needs early socialization and education instead of staying at home all day. Families may feel the societal pressure either way when deciding whether to stay at home or send their little one to day care.
What’s the Compromise?
For those weighing up the pros and cons, there may well be a workable compromise. Many parents decide to work part time and place their children in day care for a half day. There are many child care programs that offer part-time education to suit such families.