I’ll just admit it: we love daycare! We have been incredibly fortunate that all 3 daycares (2 in home and 1 daycare center) we have used have been great fits for our family. I wish that I could stay home with my children, of course, but that’s not in the cards for us right now. Although, if I’m going to be honest, I would probably still send the children to daycare part time if I could stay at home. The benefits and connections that we have made through daycare have really been phenomenal.
For us, the biggest benefit to daycare has been the opportunity to connect with caring daycare providers. We have been blessed beyond measure in that most of our daycare providers have truly loved our children. These wonderful women have bestowed kisses, hugs, and caring words onto our children on good days and bad days, and they have even provided snuggles on sick days. My children are left with no doubt that they are loved. How awesome is that? Not only do my children have large extended families available to love them, they also have a makeshift family of wonderful daycare providers.
BK and MK would also attest to the fact that they love the opportunity to socialize with their friends! Since BK was just a few weeks old, we have benefited from his opportunities to socialize. I have mentioned before that he was not an easy baby, but he clearly loved going to daycare as an infant. He loved to watch the older children play, and it really seemed as though he had bonded with his daycare provider’s sons. The social opportunities have helped my children learn to share, voice their frustrations rather than simply scream or cry, problem solve, and work as a team. Truly, I love hearing about BK and MK’s day. I feel as though I know Blake, Luca, Melody, Vivian, Tait, Norah, Nick, and Tony!
Another very clear benefit of daycare is that I have no doubts that my children will be ready for kindergarten. They are used to structured days. They can do basic tasks such as hold a pencil and use safety scissors that, frankly, aren’t such basic tasks when you are a young child learning to do them for the first time! Even more importantly, they know how to respect and listen to their teachers. That last lesson may be what sets them up for success!
Not to be downplayed is the stress relief that comes with a really great daycare situation. I can work all day knowing that my children are ensconced in a safe, loving place. They’re working on crafts and art projects that I always say I’m going to do with them, but. somehow, time never seems to permit. The school is doing the tough job of teaching them how to count and sing their ABCs; we get to practice those things while we swing at the park! I feel as though we have found a really great balance in our lives. I’ll say it again: We love daycare!
Side note: I know many stay at home moms who do a great job finding social opportunities for their children, and who excel at preparing their children for kindergarten. That’s just not our situation.