Tara and Kunal wished that they could be a stay-at-home parent, at least part of the time. In fact, with the birth of their second child, they came very close to making that leap, but backed away from it after some analysis.

The real reason is that they felt that their children benefit on the whole from their time at daycare, particularly their two year old son. Tara explains,”We spend quite a bit of money on daycare for our children (it’s literally the best in our area), and the environment is one that we feel very happy with. Our son’s language skills are off the charts for children his age (he can largely speak in complete sentences – and always expresses complete ideas – at age two) and he often exhibits learning that we simply didn’t teach him. Plus, we largely devote our evenings and weekends to spending time with him, so they get a full helping of loving and nurturing care.”

Hence, if you can afford a daycare that meets or exceeds the standards you would set at home, then daycare is a reasonable option. Researches suggests that children in quality daycare centers may even have an intellectual edge over those in other kinds of care. When researchers compared kids in quality daycare to those in other, equally high-quality childcare situations, children in centers performed a little better on tests.

When a person becomes a parent and they look at that child for the first time, they want that child to have every great opportunity in the world: a great education, a healthy upbringing with strong values, and so on. Unfortunately, for most families, difficult choices have to be made. Do you send your child to daycare and focus on earning money, or do you stay at home with the child to maximize their personal fulfillment? It’s not an easy question, so let’s look at both sides of it.


Day care pros : Day care arrangement is more stable (compared to, say, nanny or relative care) because the center agrees to watch over your child regardless whether a teacher is sick or tardy or even tired of working for you. Staff members at good centers are usually trained in early childhood education so they know what to expect from your child developmentally and are able to nurture his growing skills accordingly. If the center you’re considering doesn’t hire knowledgeable staff, keep looking. Good daycare centers include a nice mix of activities during the day to teach different skills, such as singing, dancing, and storytelling. Finally, toddlers can benefit from the chance to socialize with other children, which they may not get to do as often or at all when a nanny or a relative cares for them at home.

Day care cons: No matter how good a daycare center is, it doesn’t match the love and nurturing care that a parent can provide for their child. Workers at daycare centers are employees – not parents – and they don’t bring genuine one-on-one attention and love to the child that a parent can bring.

It’s true that quality of care dips when a person has to watch over too many children, but good centers make an effort to keep the teacher-child ratio as low as possible. Also, having a number of teachers at these centers means they can support each other when needed. Quality daycare centers keep the number of children in each group low, too.It’s easier to give one-on-one attention and be responsive when there are fewer kids in a room !

Ms Sindu, Founder of Teddies Day Care, Bangalore shares her views – “With the number of nuclear families going up in urban areas, the need for a robust support system to cater to child care needs has gone up in the last few years. Unreliable and uneducated nannies, limited support from family and awareness of early education among parents has led to the rise in the number of quality day care centers. Most day care centers focus on the overall development of the children by providing adequate stimulation to each child with age appropriate activities planned throughout the day. In my experience of running the day care center I have seen children at the day care being more mature, independent and probably also having an intellectual edge over other children of the same age.In case you have a good quality day care near your home, I recommend all parents (working/non-working) to send their children as young as 1 year for a few hours to the day care. Do not feel guilty of sending your child away from home because in the long run you will realize how your child has benefited from early education.”

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