A lot of mothers in the world have to return to work soon after having a baby. And many countries don’t have quality maternity leave coverage, so they have no choice but to return in order to provide for her family. Some women who choose to return to work want the interaction with adults that they're lacking at home — as a way to maintain their mental health.
A life-saver for these moms is daycare. Daycare is essential for many mothers all over the world. A safe place for their children to be while they are at work. It can be hard to find a good one, and there is normally a long waiting list. That is why a lot of women get their baby placed on the list before they even deliver them. That is for good reason though.
High-quality daycare has shown to have many benefits for children. A lot of people think that daycare is just a place babies and toddlers go to play, eat, and sleep when their parent is at work. Daycare is so much more than that, and if mom picks a good one then there is a lifetime of learning to explore.
There are the obvious things that little ones learn while at daycare, but then there are things that they learn that can surprise mom and dad. Sometimes, they learn things by accident and not because the teacher taught them. We are going to go through 20 of these unexpected skills that toddlers can pick up at daycare.
20 Learn How To Get (And Keep) A Quality Job
Not a lot of toddlers are thinking about their future jobs one day. If they are, then they probably have dreams of being a superhero or a Disney princess. However, mom and dad may already be thinking about who their little one will turn into one day. Well, daycare may not influence what they will become, but it has shown promise in another way.
The study done by the University of North Carolina showed that children who had been in a daycare of high-quality standards were more likely to hold down a steady job. They found that at age 30, kids that were in daycare where more likely to be consistently employed.
19 Daycare Wires Their Brain The Right Way
This one is a little interesting. When we decide to have children, we immediately think of the genetic conditions that we may be passing on to our children. Mental health is one of them, and if mom has depression or anxiety, she may be worried that she may pass it on to her child. It looks like daycare can help prevent this.
The University of Quebec did a study that looked at 1,759 children who had mothers that live with depression. Children who attended daycare inherited depression significantly less than those who didn't. They suspect it is because they spent less time around mom when she was in a depressive state since they were at daycare.
18 Learn How To Be Independent
This is an interesting one, and it may or may not be important to you depending on your values. There are universities all over the world doing studies on almost anything, and this one is definitely a little ‘out there.’ The University of North Carolina wanted to do a study to calm down anyone’s fears about being a young grandmother.
The University of North Carolina named this project the Abecedarian Project and it found that children who attended high-quality daycare were a lot more likely to delay becoming a parent than others, by as much as two years. Some could say that daycare teaches children to be independent in every aspect starting at a young age.
17 Moms Learn Too!
We are going to sneak one in here in regard to what a mom can learn if her child is in daycare. A lot of moms are hesitant to send their child to daycare, they feel guilty and they wish they could spend time with their child instead. However, it looks like having a child in daycare can actually rub off on mom and she can learn a thing or two as well.
Researchers at the University of Texas found that moms whose kids were in daycare were more likely to be involved in their child’s schools as they progressed. They were in more communication with teachers, participated in more open house nights and were better at making relationships with other parents.
16 Learning How To Create Schedules By Their Own Schedule
A lot of moms out there work very hard to get a good schedule in place. A good routine and schedule can be a big difference between a mom keeping her sanity and losing it. Well, daycare helps with that. The good thing is, children do not even realize that there is a schedule in place. Daycares provide a wide range of activities.
These activities are all carefully scheduled throughout the day, and the children are moved from one activity to another. As days go by, they will learn that certain activities happen at certain times. This means that the child may be better behaved when they go home for the day thanks to the well-structured day.
15 Problem Solve Like No One Else
Problem-solving is one of the hardest skills for children to learn. It takes time and a lot of trial-and-error and daycare is a great and safe place for this to happen. Children who are not in daycare may learn this skill if their mom takes them on regular playdates, but it may happen a bit slower than for children in daycare.
Children in daycare spend so much time with their peers, and they learn how to work together. There are only so many teachers, so children must learn how to problem-solve in order to work together peacefully. One of the biggest things they will learn is how to share and take turns with others.
14 Daycare Makes Transitions Smoother
Daycare is a lot more than just babysitting. This is how a lot of people see daycare, unfortunately, that it is just a place child go when their parent needs someone to watch them. This is not true. This is actually the child’s first experience in a school-type setting. A study done by the University of Texas found that children who attended daycare had an easier time adjusting to kindergarten.
This means there were fewer tears and whining when mom drops them off for that first day. They are already accustomed to the idea of going somewhere else while mom is at work. They are also used to the structure and set-up in the classroom.
It is easy to spot a child who has not had much interaction with others, they don’t tend to know how to play well with other children and even adults. Children in daycare have an advantage when it comes to social interaction. In daycare, children learn the basics of respect.
They learn this by working with other children and with their teachers. The teachers work with children on how to respect others and how to work together. When children play and learn together, they are building their social skills, language skills as well as their self-control. They also, over time, learn how to solve problems on their own without the aid of an adult.
12 Self Awareness Is Taught, Not Inherited
Not all learning is academic, we all need to grow and learn about ourselves as well and daycare is the perfect place for that. There is a lot of emotional development that happens, and it is harder to track because you rarely see any tangible evidence of this type of learning.
Children in daycare are often better at understanding their feelings and the feelings of others. Teachers work with children to help recognize and manage their own feelings and how they act. They are also encouraged to try new things which can help build up their self-esteem. It also comes with a dose of praise when they work really hard at a difficult task.
11 Head Start At The Library
Learning to read is one of the basic, fundamental skills all children will learn. Most think this does not happen until they start elementary school, but the foundation is already set in daycare. Children are expected to read in daycare (or at least try), as storytelling is a big part of every day. By listening to the teacher reading, it can help their language development.
They are also starting to learn words and order. When they hear a story enough, they can start to recognize words and order, and this makes it easier for them to grasp reading later on. They won’t walk out of daycare reading Hemingway, but they are well on their way.
10 Future Author?
Since they already have a head start on reading, they also have a head start on writing. Teachers are constantly introducing new words to them and they may even work with the children on how to write. They probably start with the basics, like writing their name and work from there.
Now, a mom who does not put their child in daycare does not need to worry. Her child will not be delayed in any way when it comes to learning. However, if she wants to get a good head start on it, she can always work on these same activities at home with her child. There is a vault of information online that can help a mom teach her child new skills.
9 C & C (Classifying And Counting)
Math is never anyone’s favorite subject, but maybe if it is introduced early, children may grow to love it. Math is a concept that is introduced in daycare, but it is not called that, and it does not involve any long division. Math is more seen as classifying and counting. They work on the basic’s elements of math. A big component of this is when your child separates things into different categories.
For example, if they have buttons and they have to separate them by color... This is basic lesson one math. The teacher can also take it up a few notches and have them count them as they separate them. It is a fun way to introduce such a dreaded subject to children.
8 Introducing Technology (Why Not?)
This one may be a bit controversial, as some parents may not see the benefit of it. Technology is the way our life is now, and it will definitely be a big part of the world your child grows up in. Daycares are starting to introduce technology to the children in a controlled way. There will be a set time that children will be allowed to use a computer or tablet.
The activities they will be doing will be education. Something like matching, reading or even some creative work. This is a great way to get the children accustomed to how to use technology the right way. It is also controlled, so the amount of time they are allowed to use them is limited.
7 How To Behave Better
It is already not a big surprise that children behave better for literally anyone other than their parents. So, parents may already assume that children will behave better at daycare. Well, studies were done that showed that not only do they behave better at daycare, but overall. Researchers at Sorbonne University in Paris Surveyed about 1,500 parents.
The parents were asked to track their children’s behavior for eight years, and they noticed an incredible pattern. Those children who attended daycare demonstrated far superior social skills and had fewer disagreements with their peers and others. One of the bases for this result was that children who attend daycare learn how to have a more positive social behavior pattern.
6 Their Bodies Learn Too
One of the negative things a lot of parents say about daycare is that their child seems to get sick a lot. That makes sense in the beginning, but it is actually a good thing in the long run. When children start at a daycare, they are introduced to many other children and many other germs and bacteria. This means they may get sick a little more in the beginning.
However, they are getting sick because their body is learning how to react to all of these new germs. Once it does, it will actually be smarter and better able to fight off illnesses in the future. In fact, some studies have shown that children who attend daycare are 30% less likely to develop the most common type of childhood leukemia.
5 Cognitive Development Is All Positive
We all want our children to succeed in this world and being intelligent is one of the most basic building blocks to lead the way. This is where a lot of people who think daycare is all about paying games are wrong. There is a lot of cognitive development taking place.
The National Institute of Childhood Health and Human Development conducted a large study of over 3,000 kids and the results were outstanding. They found that children who were in high-quality daycare had better language and cognitive development during the first few years of their life. Not only that, but the benefits of this lasted well into the teenage years.
4 How To Be Part Of A Group
This one may be very interesting for women who only have one child. Only children who stay at home with their mom can take a bit longer to learn how to act in a group setting. If mom does not regularly take them to playdates, they may not know the proper social behavior when it comes to having to share the attention with other children.
Daycare is a way to get around that. From an early age, children are introduced to a group setting and must learn how to interact with other people. It is not something that happens overnight, but it sets up the best building blocks for a smoother transition to other group environments.
3 Improves Languages
Language can be difficult. Learning to talk and talk efficiently can take a long time. It is safe to say that even by the time a child is in daycare, they are still learning. Saying words and sentences is one thing, but when children have to learn how to communicate their true feelings and emotions, daycare can help.
Researchers in Holland watched a group of 5-year-old’s who were playing a two-person game. They discovered that the more days that the children spent at daycare, the better they were able to adjust their communication with each other. They suspect this is due to the bigger variety of social situations they have been introduced to.
2 How To Speak To Adults
We may not notice it, but our children are watching us all the time. There is never a moment when they are not observing what we do. They are learning, but children who are not in daycare are only able to watch their parents and other older family members. There is not much diversity there. Children in daycare are introduced to a wider array of adults.
In daycare, children are learning that other adults in the world can be positive mentors and authority figures to them and it actually helps their ability to communicate and respond to adult interaction. A 2006 National Institute of Child Health and Human Development study found that high-quality childcare was directly related to high-quality caregiving.
1 Motor Skill Work Out
There is a lot of learning going on in daycare that a lot of parents are not even aware of. They probably know that children are learning how to read, and maybe even write, but they are working on their physical development as well.
Children in daycare work a lot on their large and small motor skills. They learn and develop their arms and legs (large) and their fingers and hands (small). Activities are specifically designed to work on these areas, and they work on them for most of the day. They use their small motor skills for crafting like activities as they work with different materials. Their large motor skills are busy working outside when they are running around.
References: workingmother.com, childcareadvantage.com, naeyc.org