Sometimes it’s hard to avoid those well-meaning, (or otherwise) people who like to share their opinion on childcare and the associated pros and cons. 

There are those that are in opposition and will proudly boast about how they have dedicated their entire life to ensuring that little Johnny is brought up 24/7 at home in the loving care and affection of parents who have quit their jobs in dedication. Then there are those that have the fortunate opportunity to leave their children with other family members such as grandparents, aunts, cousins etcetera. There are also some lucky ones who send their children to childcare without guilt ever measuring on their radar.

Others however battle with the thought of leaving their child with “strangers” and have endless guilt ridden thoughts going around and around in their head. Thoughts such as “you should be at home with your children” and “how selfish of you to WANT/NEED to go back to work” are swimming laps in a dirty pool of guilt-laced water whilst they try their hardest to carry out their work tasks.

Well the good news is that there are a number of benefits for children who attend childcare and that it is 100% okay to kick those guilty thoughts to the kerb for good! Clear some much needed space for more positive and meaningful thoughts about childcare and we guarantee that you will see and feel the benefits of letting go.

1. Socialisation

Meeting other children outside of the home is a great way for kids to develop their socialisation skills. From babies right through to school age kids, you can see children have a unique way of communicating and feeling connected to each other. Childcare can give children the opportunity to learn important lessons about sharing and compromise, how to recognise and interpret feelings and also how to play positively with others. There are even studies that show that children who attend childcare are better able to deal with their emotions when they reach school age (http://www.jpeds.com/article/S0022-3476(14)00528-9/abstract?cc=y)

2. Well deserved rest and recharge for parents

Motivations for returning to work are not always centered around the theme of requiring more money. Often parents feel the need to keep in touch with their job and see working essential in maintaining their career opportunities. While it may see slightly odd and paradoxical, returning to work can also provide the much needed rest and space from family life. It can provide the space for parents to fully recharge their “parent batteries” in preparation for days/weekends spent playing and caring for children as well as performing household chores and duties.

The great thing is you don’t have to regularly put your child in childcare to get the benefits mentioned above. Casual childcare is an option for parents who don’t require ongoing childcare every week however sometimes need the help when unexpected commitments pop up or when a well deserved break is required

3. Early Learning

As well as learning important social skills, childcare provides the opportunity for children to learn through a variety of different activities both structured and un-structured. Letter and number recognition is often a part of the curriculum and can be learnt through singing, dancing, storytelling and more traditional structured activities on paper similar to a school classroom environment.

4. Boost to the immune system

Children who have attended childcare often have less colds and flus when they first start school. Early exposure to the nasties may mean a few parental sick days are required, however it can mean more resilient and resistant children once they start attending school.

5. A new network of friends

Becoming a new parent can often be isolating, especially if you are the first in a group of friends to have a child. Childcare can be a way of meeting new people who are in the same situation and facing the same challenges of juggling parenthood with household duties and work commitments. Social connections at childcare extend beyond those of the child and you may find yourself forming mothers groups, going to BBQ’s and even venturing on holidays with your new friends! Adjusting to life as a parent can be made easier by associating with others you meet at your children’s childcare.

So you see, there is no need to feel guilty about leaving your children in childcare. There is no right or wrong way, you just have to let go of those negative voices and accept that in some circumstances, childcare is necessary and can even be of benefit. Most important is the maintenance of a harmonious and loving home life where children can feel safe and if that means some time away at childcare whilst mum or dad recharge or go to work then we say – so be it!

 
Author

We're passionate about connecting mums of all ages across our online network. From parenting articles to educational stories, recipes, giveaways and more, don't be shy, you're all welcome! We are also on the lookout for regular contributors or readers wishing to share their real life stories so contact us today!

4 Comments

  1. For many people the cost of daycare outweighs what they earn. The average for one child even with subsidy per week is approx. $450.00 + your transport which could amount to $10.00 – $15.00 per week just to get them to daycare IF it is close to home before you travel to work so it could cost you double or triple that. Your nearest daycare centre that has a vacancy can be 20 + minutes drive away. I know of one Mum who had her name put on a waiting list with an approx. starting date within 10 weeks of knowing she was pregnant. If you aren’t on a large salary by the time your taxation is deducted, also childcare etc. is it worth the stress? If you are a single Mum it may cost you more that you are actually clearing after tax, daycare, transport and other expenses. If you have 2 children and only one salary forget it unless it is a high salary. Daycare fees are set to increase considerably next year. The figure I used above is based on last year’s fees I don’t know if they went up at the beginning of this year or not Just before Christmas last year they interviewed a Mum who had one child in daycare, used public transport to go to daycare and work and bought no extras of any type during the day. She barely cleared enough to use mininum electricity and water, basic nutritious food and cheap shoes. Children have to wear shoes to daycare, and you can’t run around barefooted at work. Most places of employment won’t let the employees wear sneakers. Children grow out of or wear out shoes fairly quickly. They can run around home barefooted in suitable weather but not at daycare. If you want them to mix with other children there are a lot of events at council libraries, kindergyms etc.

    • This article isn’t about ‘what is best’ it is merely highlighting some benefits of childcare. We all know not all situations suit all people. Take the article for what it is.

    • Agree with Tish – this article isnt about the cost/affordability of healthcare.
      On that point though, I read Lean In recently and it makes some really good arguments about the pro’s of going back to work, even if (in the short term) you think it outweighs what you currently earn. Basically it says that you might be better off suffering the cost of childcare in the short term so that you can get back to work sooner and try and boost career progression (and get that salary increase). I’m not saying its wrong or right for your particular situation but its definately worth a read. I found it really interesting.

  2. Steph Christie Reply

    Our Bubble LOVES childcare! The cost is atrocious, but it’s also been necessary for me to work. Now that I’ve started my next lot of Mat Leave, I have to reduce her from 5 days down to 2 days a week. I’m a little concerned as to how she’ll cope with the reduced days, but am also looking forward to some extra time with her. I’ve missed her since I went back to work.

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.