What Is The Best Age To Start Attending Early Learning Centre?

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    Are You Still Deciding The Best Age For Daycare?

    Does nursery daycare harm children? Is there an alternative? Should mothers stay at home? For decades, these questions have panicked parents. In fact, when to start your child in daycare is a personal decision and depends on factors such as the length of parental leave, ability, financial responsibilities or other childcare options.

    But at what age is it best for your child to start their daycare? Even though it's a decision, many parents agonise over it, and one many have felt guilty about.

    But if you're considering daycare for your child, that guilt is unnecessary, mama. Daycare doesn't just give parents the time they need to provide for their family, and it also provides children with important social interactions that may improve their behaviour.

    Unfortunately, most daycare centres will not take babies under 8 weeks of age, and many facilities are not equipped to handle the special needs of infants with a medical concern.

    Most centres offering infant daycare accept babies who are 6 weeks of age or older. Along with considering when to begin daycare for your child, it's important to learn about the different options and the pros and cons of each.

    There are certain things to look for when interviewing daycare candidates, and you may want to begin the interview process before your baby is even born to secure a prime daycare spot.

    Many parents start their children in daycare at one year old, as a baby is often deemed more independent.

    Every family, however, will have different circumstances.

    Some parents may need to start as early as six months due to work or financial commitments. Others may wait until their child is three or four years old. When to start your child in childcare or an early learning centre is a very individual choice, and there is no right or wrong answer.

    Parents thinking about child care will be well aware of all the decisions that need to be made along the way. This website provides information on all the care options available and the pros and cons of each type of care, and it can even help you source a child care provider; however, you will also need to think about the best time to place your child in care and what sort of care will best suit your child as they grow older.

    Some people say that in-home care is best for babies, and child care centres are best for toddlers. Other people say that family daycare is the ideal compromise between home-based care and centres and is suitable for children of all ages. Like all the decisions you make about child care, your decision concerning timing should depend on your unique circumstances and your child's needs.

    What Is The Best Age To Start Daycare?

    Choosing the right age for daycare is not an easy decision. While it is true that there is no such thing as a 'perfect' age, there are several pros and cons to starting your child at any age. However, if there is anything most educators will agree upon, daycare is good for your child.

    Several factors will determine whether or not your child is ready for daycare, and they are not all about them. Finances and work commitments will have a lot to do with the final decision. The overall health of your child and support network will also contribute.

    Ultimately, the decision that works for one family will not be precisely the same conditions that will work for another. Because entering your child into a childcare centre program is so dependent on individual circumstances, you must take your time to assess your situation and not rush into it.

    Babies - 0 to 18 months


    How old does a baby have to be for daycare? In some cases, parents wish to return to work as soon as possible. However, sometimes this can be a little too early to start childcare. Babies are forming attachments to their primary caregivers at an early age, and it is a very important part of childhood development. With this in mind, it is still possible to find daycare for this age group.

    Smaller group sizes would be required for childcare for a baby.

    This creates a family-like dynamic that would allow interaction and attention more on a one-on-one basis. The downside to daycare at this age would be that not many caregivers will have space for babies due to class size ratios.

    Babies thrive in situations where they have a lot of one-on-one attention from a single caregiver, and home-based care is great at this stage. However, child care centres can work well if there are a small number of babies per carer, allowing the carer to respond quickly to the babies needs.

    Continuity of care is the most important aspect at this stage. Babies need time to develop an attachment to and trust in their carer. Babies also need a clean and safe environment as they start to explore the world around them.

    In Australia, paid parental leave from the government is up to 4.5 months, so it is not unusual for mums to return to work as early as six months. At this age, however, the most important thing for a baby is having a personal attachment to someone or a few people they can trust.

    Ideally, this would be mum or dad at home, but a good early learning centre might also provide this sort of care. High-quality childcare will understand the importance of establishing a personal connection with younger babies.

    Look for an early learning centre that has a low child to educator ratio for the baby room and one that can provide your child with individualised attention.

    In the baby stage, children need one-on-one care so that they can feel safe and secure. The baby room has a rough routine in terms of meals, sleeping time and play, but it is often flexible enough to follow the routine your child is used to at home.

    Toddler - 18 months to 3 years

    This is the age where children tend to have a lot of energy and curiosity. Toddlers entering this phase in their lives are growing and exploring and need special attention in a daycare setting.

    The positives of enrolling your child at this age are that they will exercise creativity and active participation.

    The downside to introducing your child in this age group to daycare is that the service provider will need to have a safe, encouraging facility and program. This means playtime is a must, and that will require additional supervision. This may rule out smaller providers or at home family daycare centres.

    Babies and young toddlers have similar needs when it comes to child care. Toddlers respond well to the low carer to child ratios and require carers with lots of patience and energy. However, this is when children begin to test their limits, and they need carers who can help them understand the parameters of the world they live in.

    Toddlers are extremely active and need a safe environment that allows them to explore while limiting the potential for bumps and bruises. Home-based care, such as nannies and au pairs, are excellent for children at this age. Child care centres and family daycare with the low carer to child ratios and good staff retention can work well too.

    Another benefit of centre and family daycare for children at this age is that they offer toddlers a chance to socialise with other youngsters and offer them the opportunity to participate in activities they might not be able to do at home.

    This a popular age to start early learning as many new mums take a year off work. At 12 months, many children would have passed the separation anxiety phase (which peaks at nine months) and are ready for more stimulating activity.

    Toddlers, however, are not much older than babies and still require close attention. So, again, having enough educators in the room is important. The educators must also be qualified and know how to engage positively with the child. At this age, children start to learn independence, social skills and interacting appropriately with their peers.

    Educators will play an important role in modelling and guiding children towards the right attitudes and behaviours.

    Preschoolers - 3 to 5 years

    Since children in this age group are much closer to entering preschool, their requirements are very different. As they are at that stage where they are learning general life skills, they are developing a sense of independence. However, they will also still need to follow instructions and behave appropriately.

    The good outweighs the bad when looking at whether or not this is the best age for kids to start daycare. Daycare providers able to prepare your child for the step into formal schooling would be beneficial at this point. However, there also has to be plenty of opportunities to learn through play and interaction with others.

    The advantage of putting preschoolers in centre-based care is that it allows them to practice their language and learn social skills. In addition, three to five-year-old children are keen to build peer relationships and play with their friends. A quality child care centre can be very beneficial in helping children at this age learn many early skills and provide children with the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of activities they might not be able to do at home.

    Home-based care is also great for preschoolers, provided they have access to age-appropriate resources and games and have frequent contact with other children their age. An in-home carer can supplement care with community activities at a local library or park, playgroups, or other group activities like swimming lessons.

    Children in the kinder years are getting ready for school. They are often keen to build relationships with their peers. They are practising their language skills and social skills, they are learning to think creatively, and problem solve.

    An early learning centre can provide your kinder-aged child with a wide variety of activities they might not have a chance to engage in at home. For example, they are working on a science project with other children, going on a group excursion, or learning how to navigate friendships.

    Look for an early learning centre that provides a wide variety of activities for your child. It doesn't have to be a modern classroom type of environment. The most important thing is a place where your child feels safe, supported and inspired – just like home.

    What To Look For In Starting Early At Early Learning Centre?


    Be sure to ask a lot of questions about whether the daycare is licensed, the caregiver's qualifications, the ratio of babies and caregivers, as well as the structure of the day. Babies need a clean and safe environment as they start to explore the world around them.

    It is important to establish attachment and trust to caregivers for babies 18 months and younger.

    Continuity of care would be the most important aspect at this stage if you were to start your infant at daycare at a very young age. Babies need time to develop an attachment to and trust in their carer.

    While choosing daycare may be a difficult option for many parents, there are clear evidence children will benefit over the long term.

    Finding a quality daycare centre where children are supported, engaged, encouraged and exposed to a positive attitude can help babies and toddlers set the groundwork for later intellectual strides.

    Nevertheless, there is no clear indicator to tell you when you and your child are ready for childcare.

    Having to return to work may force you to send your child to childcare at a very young age. But many parents look to between one and two years of age. But as for knowing when the best age to start daycare arrives in your home, only you will know. After all, it's your decision. And one that you and your partner should discuss and decide solely amongst yourselves.

    So, What Is The Best Age to Start Daycare?

    As you can see, there is no clear indicator to tell you when you and your child are ready for childcare. In addition, having to return to work may force the issue or speed up the process for many, and it may have no bearing on the decision for others.

    Generally speaking, waiting until after your child has had their first birthday can be a good time to start looking into a childcare service. After that, many parents look to between one and two years of age. But as for knowing when the best age to start daycare arrives in your home, only you will know.

    We understand that parents need to enrol their children at various ages depending on many personal factors. Hence we cater for children between 6 weeks and six years old. Our staff are specially trained to make the transition into child care as easy as possible.

    Here are some tips for what to consider when choosing the right centre for your child.
    1. Determine the type of childcare service you are looking for. ...
    2. Type of Education and Philosophy. ...
    3. Location of the childcare centre. ...
    4. Availability & Waiting List. ...
    5. Childcare Costs. ...
    6. Flexibility. ...
    7. Licencing and Registration.

    When choosing a childcare centre, you as the parent have the right to expect it will provide a safe, supportive place for your child's self-identity and awareness to grow. It's important that educators in your choice of centre value each child's individual interests and opinions and treat them with respect and love.

    A high-quality childcare center has a friendly and warm environment conducive to learning. Be sure to pick a daycare with clean and sanitary buildings and classrooms. Check their toys and learning materials to make sure they are safe and child-friendly.

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