While looking for a good child care option for your child, you would have come across several articles describing the disadvantages of placing your child in Child Care Centres. This is a cause for concern for parents all over the world. In this article, we will discuss these disadvantages and the ways in which you could manage and overcome the negative aspects of day care.
Recent research conducted by the University of Melbourne concluded that children who had been placed in Child Care Centres at a very early age showed lower levels of academic competence and social skills with an increase in problematic behavior patterns. Children who have been in full time day care from the time they were babies, were found to stubbornly hold on to their views while exhibiting aggressiveness and no interest in resolving conflicts. Interestingly, the study attributed this to the extended time spent in Day Care and not the quality or type of care.
The other more common complaints are the exorbitant cost of child care, lack of personalized attention, health and safety concerns, high ratio of child and caregiver in large groups, under-paid staff leading to high attrition, etc.
But, take heart, these are issues that can be set right by a well-organized licensed Day Care Centre.
Of late, the emphasis is on early childhood education and most licensed and accredited Day Care Centres have a curriculum suited to each child’s age aimed at providing an early learning experience similar to preschool. There is growing evidence that children adapt to organized learning methods at an early age so a good Day Care Centre may turn out to be your baby’s first school!
In two income households, it is not easy for one parent to stay at home to take care of the child. There are several alternatives to full time work.
You could perhaps talk to your boss and get him to agree to flexible working hours where you could go in earlier or stay later at work. This way you and your spouse could take care of the child most of the day and only leave the child for a few hours at the Day Care Centre. You could also opt to share jobs with others who have similar problems where you get paid half the salary and benefits for sharing half the work. This can free up considerable time without losing your entire income.
Part time and work from home jobs are also viable options. These may not pay much but will give you enough time to take care of your child.
Those of you who are expecting a baby soon can consider trying to live within one income and put aside the second income completely. This will get you used to living with just one income and the savings will come in handy for the months following your baby’s birth.
There are also tax rebates and benefits offered by the government for parents who have children in child care which could bring down the cost burden.
Prior to finalizing the Day Care Centre, make several visits to observe how the Centre is being run, inquire about job satisfaction amongst the staff, inspect the toilets and nappy changing areas for hygiene, discuss with other parents and talk to the children, gauge the communication skills of the caregivers by talking to them, etc.
All licensed Day Care Centres come under the purview of the government and adhere strictly to rules and regulations especially with regard to qualifications of staff, space requirements, hygiene, and handling of emergencies.
With a little effort, you can easily balance work and the time you spend with your child. By choosing a licensed Day Care Centre and working closely with the child care providers, you can circumvent all the hurdles of Child Care. It is only the really fortunate few who can afford to give up their jobs and stay at home as soon as a baby comes along. And although it is an undisputed fact that the kind of individualized attention and care given by a parent at home can never be replicated in a Child Care Centre, it can be the next best thing for your child if selected with care.