5 Reservations About Daycare

A parenting forum that I frequently visit had a post asking 5 questions about sending kids to daycare full-time.  The poster was nervous about sending her children for the first time and I totally understood her fears.  I had some of the same reservations myself!  Since we’ve been sending our children to daycare full-time for about 3 years, I thought posting my own answers to these concerns might be calming for some of you who are reluctant to send to daycare or already do, but don’t want to feel alone.

The topics that were questioned are in black and my replies are in purple:
My kids are in daycare from 7:45am to 6pm every day. This is my experience:
1. Having a close relationship with your child

I was nervous about this, but my kids know who their mommy is. They are very attached to me, sometimes even too attached. They always come to me when they get a boo-boo and need me to put them to bed.

2. Expressing sadness that mommy isn’t spending all day with them

My kids sometimes get sad when I drop them off in the morning, but they have a great time at daycare and once they start playing with all the toys, it’s just their normal day. They are used to this schedule and have a great time with their friends who are also there full days.

3. Experience with toddler in daycare for 32+ hours a week
We love daycare. As soon as my kids were old enough to play with toys, listen to books and sing songs they always did it with a group. I think they are socially better off- they are always interacting with other kids and have a routine to their day. They know the rules of the classroom and are learning so much!

4. Missing milestones

I have no idea whether or not my kids took their first steps at daycare. I do however know that I was the first one to see them take their first steps Wink Their daycare providers never told me about any milestones, I always told them, so there was no feeling of missing out. Even if I did miss a milestone, I was there for the process and I don’t think it would really bother me too much.

5. Chinuch at home vs. at school 

My kids know the rules at home. I’m not super strict, but I do discipline them. I make sure to tell them when they behave and when they don’t. I try my best not to contradict the rules a teacher has set in place because I don’t want to confuse them. I’ve never really had this problem of a major difference in rules, but for example, my son came home singing a song that I didn’t particularly like, so I told him that I’d prefer if he didn’t sing it at home. Then I suggested another song he can sing and he was fine with that.

My kids aren’t in a Jewish daycare, but there is still so much time I have to teach them. They make brachos on food while at home, we daven on the way to school and say Shema at night. I also try to sing them songs for upcoming holidays and we play Jewish music in the car. It’s truly amazing how quickly kids can learn these things and how much they can retain.

What’s your experience with your childcare arrangements?

Until next time,