Parents use childcare for a variety of different reasons. It could be because they work, because it’s important for children to socialise, or simply because they just need a break.
Whatever the reason it’s not at all uncommon for mums to feel a little guilty. Mum guilt is released at birth and can crop up even when it’s not necessary! We think it’s our child and we should be looking after their needs 24/7, it can feel wrong to want time apart from them.
As much as these feeling are perfectly understandable they are not actually the most rational thoughts we’ve ever had.
There are all sorts of benefits your child can get from childcare that are pretty hard to find elsewhere.
First and foremost they find it great fun!
To them it’s just a whole morning of play and fun activities with their friends.
They learn to socialise and mix with other children. This is valuable even for those who have siblings at home. How children interact with family vs other new children can be very different. They are learning how to make new friends and how to share and play together in larger groups.
They will learn structure.
Early childcare definitely isn’t as set and structured as school but it is introducing them to a routine, times to sit nicely and listen, snack times where they may need to wait their turn.
It’s all very gently making sure that they can be part of a team, they are an important member but it’s not all about them.
Children love stimulation and as much as there is a lot we do to keep them busy at home it’s rare you can compete with a childcare set up. They can go from a sand table to sticking and gluing followed by a quiet reading corner all in a short space of time. Encouraging their attention span comes later but while they are little it’s all about experimenting and finding out what they find fun.
So if you are looking into daycare and feeling a little wobbly about it just remember this.
It’s not actually something you are doing just because you have to or to benefit you but to give your child some really fun times and valuable lessons in their little journey through life.