What are the Pros and Cons of Sending Your Child to Daycare?

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    In most situations, there are multiple ways of doing things, and childcare is one of those. I think many parents, if given the option, probably wouldn’t want to send their kids to daycare. Most would prefer either a nanny or for one of them to be a stay at home parent.

    We were such parents. The thing is, nannies are more expensive than daycares (and they come with their pros and cons), and being a stay at home parent was financially out of the question.

    Without a relative able to watch our son, it meant daycare was our only option. So I did what I usually do in situations like this. Research. I’m going to share with you what I’ve learned researching daycares and leaving your kids at childcare so you can make an informed decision.

    Millions of parents across the country face the tough decision to place their children in daycare each year. As the number of families with both parents working outside the home has risen, the need for daycare services has increased dramatically.

    These families may not have relatives that live close by or can care for their children. Other families may have a parent that works from home but needs uninterrupted time to complete work. Many daycare centres offer full-day versus a half-day or full week versus partial week options, priced accordingly. This allows each family to match the daycare’s services with their needs.

    Daycare can be a fun and exciting experience for you and your child, while it can prove to be a disaster in some and, worst, even traumatic. As most developmental psychologists say, early development and experiences are important since they influence and affect later development. Daycare is the first experience your child will have in terms of interacting with children in their age range and a structured environment, and being away from their parents.

    This is a huge experience for your child and may, later on, determine how they might perceive going to school or having friends and even their sense of self and self-esteem. With this, it is important to choose the best daycare centre for your child. You need to ensure that your child will have a positive experience in daycare so they would be better prepared to take on bigger challenges in their young lives in the years to come.

    So, you have been enjoying motherhood to the hilt by spending time with your little one, taking care of him and tending to his various needs too. But if you are a working mom, then this rosy period may have to end soon, and you may have to go back to work.

    The sheer thought of leaving your baby behind can be daunting for a mother. However, the daycare centre is a good option for parents who, due to work constraints or due to other reasons, cannot be with their babies. This article shall discuss various advantages and disadvantages of a daycare centre and various tips that may help you choose a daycare centre for your child.

    Cons of Sending Your Child to Daycare

    The Cost of Daycare

    Daycares are not cheap, and honestly, they can be quite expensive. Business Broker did a report looking at the cost of daycare in the United States, and the results are quite surprising.

    The average monthly cost of daycare in the United States varies from $855 (Alabama) to $2982 (Washington DC). The average yearly price was between $10,262 and $35,782. One thing is clear: the cost of daycare is high…and high in some parts of the country. As a result, many families have a hard time affording daycare costs.

    To help put it in perspective, daycare costs can be anywhere between 14% to 26% of the average family income. So from personal experience, we’re going to end up paying over $11,000 a year to put our son in daycare. And that’s for one kid. So imagine if you had 2 or 3 kids?

    Daycare Hours May Not Be Convenient

    While many daycares offer the care you can count on, their start times and pick up times might not be to your advantage. For example, the daycare we’re going to use is running from 6:30 am to 6 pm. A 6:30 am drop off and 6 pm pickup time probably works for many parents, but it’s not going to work for every parent.

    What if your commute is longer and you need to drop your child off earlier or pick up your child later. Let’s not forget about those who work non-traditional hours like healthcare workers or those in retail. Those hours won’t work for many of those parents.

    Some daycares will offer extended times like later pickup but usually at an additional charge.

    Make sure you know the hours of operations for your daycare and how long it will take you to drop your kid off at the daycare to get to work. Also, learn how long it will take you to get them from daycare when coming back from work.

    Holiday Hours

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    Many daycares are not open during major holidays, but unfortunately, many parents have to work. Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year, 4th of July are some of the days your daycare could be closed, but you still have to work.

    When deciding on a daycare, make sure you know what those days are and figure out a plan ahead of time if you have to work during that day.

    Learned Behavior in Daycare

    A study of Early Child Care research being done by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) found that more time spent in daycares increases the likelihood that a child will have behaviour problems such as aggressive behaviour.

    Your Child is Going to be Sick More Often

    Daycare is a breeding ground for germs, no matter how clean they are (or say they are). Your child would be exposed to more viruses, bacterias, and germs at the daycare than they ever will if they were at home with you.

    It doesn’t help that many parents are now not vaccinating their kids. This will ultimately lead to increased visits to urgent care, the emergency room, and your pediatrician. It means higher healthcare costs for you and more sick time usage as well.

    Daycare Sick Policies

    It’s bad enough that your child will be sick more often, but it also means you won’t be able to drop them off at the daycare. Many daycares have very strict policies on sick children. It’s understandable why the policy is in place. Unfortunately, it does mean if your child is sick, you will either have to take sick leave or make arrangements for someone else to watch your kid. Did I mention you’re still going to be paying for those days your child was absent?

    Your Child’s Reaction to Daycare

    Your child’s personality will determine how well they’re going to react to daycare. Unfortunately, many children do not respond well to daycare initially. Some kids require a longer adjustment period. This means a fussier child at daycare and a fussier child at home.

    Less Quality Time with Your Child

    One of the major downsides of daycares is that you’re not going to be spending a lot of time with your child, which unfortunately means you’re going to miss some major milestones.

    You’re Going to Miss Major Milestones

    If your child spends any decent amount of time in daycare, the likelihood of you missing more than a few milestones is very likely. You’re going to miss the very first words, the first steps, and so on. If it’s not a big deal, then no worries, but it’s something to think about.

    Someone Else is Raising Your Kids

    I read an article recently about a stay at home mom who hates daycares. I tried to find the article again and couldn’t, but one of the reasons she said was that she didn’t want someone else teaching morals to her kids.

    While I didn’t agree with all her claims, looking back at it, someone else will be raising your child for you. If your child is there 5 days a week, that’s at least 40 hours a week. Your child is in the care of another person. If I’m honest with myself, it’s a significant number of hours. This means you have to make sure you’re comfortable with the workers at the daycare you’re entrusting with your child.

    Your Private Life Won’t Be so Private.

    One of the things I didn’t realize, but it made sense once I saw it is that kids that know how to talk tend to talk a little too much to daycare workers. So what I mean is that if your child hears your private conversation, even if you think they’re not listening, they are, and they’re going to repeat it later.

    Questionable Behaviors by Daycare Workers and the Facility

    If you pay attention to the news, some shady and questionable things are going on in daycares. Some daycares, while they put on this front, aren’t all they say they are. If you do some quick online searches, it won’t take you long to find news articles or testimonials with some of these claims:

    • the good and bad of daycare
    • Security is lax
    • Daycare workers are underpaid and overworked
    • Toys and Daycare furniture not being sanitized
    • Advertised nutritious food is not nutritious at all
    • Being out of caregiver to child ratio
    • Unsafe environment
    • Activities are not as stimulating or educational as advertised

    Other Advantages and Disadvantage

    Advantages Of Daycare Centres?


    Various studies have shown that children benefit greatly from going to a daycare centre for babies and toddlers from 6 months to 4 years of age. Here are some advantages or pros of a daycare centre for children:

    Kids Learn To Socialize

    Daycare centre is a great place for kids to meet other kids. Some of the kids may be of the same age, and others may be younger or older. Your child will be interacting with them on a day to day basis, which may help him master his socializing skills. You kid may understand and learn the art of making friends too.

    Kids Learn To Follow Schedule

    Though there may not be any formal education imparted at daycare centres, the various activities planned for the children are executed in a structured manner. Therefore, your kid may learn how to do things as per the schedule, and this is amongst one of the many benefits of daycare for toddlers.

    Kids Begin Learning At An Early Age

    Daycare centres not only take care of your child, but they also plan various activities for your kids. These activities help your kid to learn multiple educational concepts at a young age. Many daycare centres may adopt play and learn the concept. Therefore, the importance of daycare in child development cannot be undermined.

    Smoother Transition To Formal Schooling

    Kids who start going to daycare centres may find it easier to adjust to the formal schooling atmosphere. In addition, by the time they are ready to go to a kindergarten, they may already be aware of being with children of the same age group, following a schedule, and other things that may make the transition easier for them.

    Kids Develop Better Immunity

    This is one of the many benefits of daycare for infants. Home is a protected environment and a safe place for your child, but not exposing him to rowdy environmental conditions may not be good for your child’s immunity.

    A Daycare centre is a place where your kid would be interacting with many children. The more the child gets exposed to various strains of flu and cold, the better it is for his immunity.

    Contentment For The Parents

    Every parent wants to be with their child, but sometimes this may not be possible due to various constraints. Therefore, when parents leave their children in a trusted environment where they are assured that their baby will be taken care of, and thus they may feel satisfied and happy.

    Disadvantages Of Daycare Centers

    There are many great things about daycare — your little one gets to socialize with others her age, sings fun songs, plays games and learns new things every day. Along with some excellent newly acquired skills, however, your daycare diva may also bring home a few things you’d rather she didn’t.


    It’s no secret that kids share everything, including germs. Findings from a study published in the December 2012 Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine indicate that children in group child care settings develop more infections, such as colds, ear infections and other respiratory illnesses.

    The good news — the study also indicates that young children who attend daycare early in life might develop stronger immunity, translating to fewer illnesses during the elementary school years.

    Learned Behaviors

    Your young progeny is an eager sponge just waiting to absorb a host of useful new skills from her daycare environment. Don’t be surprised if she comes home flaunting her language development skills with newfound vocabulary words or knowledge of shapes and colours.

    Unfortunately, daycare is also a place where children may learn undesirable behaviours from each other, like hitting, temper tantrums, or inappropriate words. If influences at daycare do turn your charming cherub into a handful, remember you have the power to undo any annoying behaviour in your child.

    Retraining against bad habits picked up at daycare gives you a chance to practice dealing with real-world influences you will encounter throughout your parenting career.

    Less Adult Interaction

    Another possible disadvantage to the daycare setting is that your child typically receives less one-on-one adult interaction than she might. At the same time, she is home with you or another parent. If your little one is high-needs, this might be tough on you both. Please take it in stride, though, because there’s a chance this aspect could help foster healthy self-reliance and independent play. If you’re concerned about it, look for a daycare with a lower ratio of children to caregivers that may allow daycare providers to offer each child more individualized attention.

    Rules And Regulations

    Any daycare you choose operates under certain rules, which you may not agree with but still have to accept. These may be state regulations governing the operation of childcare facilities, or they may be centre-specific. For example, you may have an established lunch routine at 1 pm, followed by a nap at 2 pm. Although it may drive you bananas, experiencing an upset in your normal home routine, your little one has to adjust if your daycare centre serves lunch at 11:30 am and has everyone down for a nap by noon.

    Things To Consider While Choosing Daycare For Your Child

    Once you make up your mind on sending your kid to a daycare centre, you must pay heed to the following aspects before choosing a daycare centre for your child:

    • Daycare centre is not only for taking care of your child; therefore, choose the one that may involve your kid in doing various interactive and educational activities.
    • Choose a daycare centre that may allow the flexibility of time and days.
    • It will be a great idea to opt for a centre close to your house so that picking and dropping may become convenient for you.
    • Make sure you check the child-caretaker ratio before putting your kid in any daycare centre. The lower the ratio, the better it is.
    • Make sure the centre is registered or licensed and follows the rules and regulations of a daycare centre.
    • There are many options for daycare facilities to choose from, and you should choose the one best suited to your family requirements.
    Drawbacks of childcare programs:
    • Attending a childcare facility often results in illness. ...
    • There's less individual attention.
    • Waiting lists are common.
    • Childcare programs can be costly.
    • Childcare facilities often face high staff turnover, which can make it difficult for children to form healthy attachments.
    Earlier studies of daycare, even in the early 2000s, raised serious concerns about the greater risk of "externalizing" behavior — such as neediness, disobedience, and bullying — from children's early and prolonged exposure to commercial daycare.

    Some studies suggest that attending daycare can be good for a child's mental health. That's because a daycare provides a stable, safe environment with routine and structure. That can help kids who might not find that environment at home develop much-needed stability for later in life.

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