By Dr Kaylene Henderson
The decision about whether to send your child to childcare is often accompanied by a wave of mixed emotions – nervousness, relief and that all-familiar guilt, just to name a few. After all, you’re planning to entrust one of your favourite people in the universe to an unfamiliar educator.
Thankfully, a look at the research quickly provides us with reassurance, since a growing body of evidence demonstrates that high-quality early childhood education offers a range of beneﬁts.
Here are 5 beneﬁts of high-quality childcare:
1. Learning and development
Incredibly, not only do children’s social and cognitive (thinking and learning) skills improve when attending high-quality childcare but this beneﬁts last right into their school years. Children can also feel more independent knowing they’ve been able to step out of their comfort zone and adapt to their new childcare routine.
2. New activities
These days, children are also exposed to a range of new learning opportunities that they mightn’t otherwise have access to experience. Using a childcare comparison site like Care for Kids, you can search the type of care you’re after, in the area you’re looking for. The site will then list every matching facility in your area, and from there you can compare what each centre offers to ﬁnd the best ﬁt for your little one. This can open their world of opportunities where they could be learning a new language, playing soccer or heading off on ‘bush kindy’ trips.
Childcare provides wonderful opportunities for children to make new friends, improve their social skills and develop nurturing bonds with their educators.
4. Improved transition to ‘big school’
Children who attend high-quality preschool programs have also been shown to better manage the transition to big school. I guess it makes sense that it’s easier to take on a couple of smaller, more manageable steps than to tackle one big step up to formal schooling.
5. Easing family stress
Of course, it’s not only children who beneﬁt from childcare. Knowing your little one is thriving elsewhere can free you up to study, work or attend to your own needs for a while. When you have conﬁdence and peace of mind that your little one is thriving and taken care of, it takes a big load of stress off of you! And we all know you deserve it.
The key to beneﬁting your child in these ways though is to ﬁnd a service that offers high-quality childcare. The truth is, not all childcare centres offer the same quality care, so you’ll need to do your research. The best place for this is on a trusted childcare the comparison website, such as Care for Kids who have been around for over 20 years.
They know their stuff, and it’s here that you can explore your local options and read unbiased, real reviews from parents such as yourself. You can also ﬁlter your search to only list centres that have met or exceeded the National Quality Standard. Then, once you’ve put together your short-list, you can plan your visits, meet the educators and decide on the best ﬁt for your child and ensure you’re getting a holistic view of the potential place where your little one will spend lots of their time.
Once you know what you’re looking for and where to ﬁnd it, you can feel conﬁdent that you’re guiding your child in the right direction. Soon, you’ll be waving goodbye to your little one (along with your parent guilt!), knowing they’re perfectly placed to experience all the beneﬁts that this exciting new chapter will bring.
Dr Kaylene Henderson is a highly trained Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, one of Australia’s leading parenting experts and a grateful mother of three.
Working with both parents and educators alike, Kaylene is passionate about sharing research-based, practical advice, so that together, we can bring out the best in our next generation. She is proud to be the ofﬁcial 2022 Parenting Partner for Care For Kids.