Parents always want the best for their baby, from where they will be born, to what foods to eat, and when to start school too. As your baby grows, you’re probably thinking of sending your infant to a day care center as you head back to work. This is a huge decision especially when you have to weigh your options as you need to go back to work.
Some mothers find sending their little one to an infant day care to be a painful experience, but necessary to help their baby get exposed to a new environment, and for his or her emotional development as well. Others just wish that they could take a break from taking care of their little one.
Factors To Consider
There are many factors that you need to take into account when you are considering enrolling your baby in an infant program. Here are a few that you should take into account:
Preterm babies or those who had complications during birth may require some special assistance from time to time. This is something that you should take into consideration especially when it comes to where and to whom you will be leaving your little one with.
Breastfeeding infants may be dependent on your milk which means that you will need to find teachers who are willing to learn to feed your little one just the way you do to help them settle down.
Another thing that you should take into consideration is the difference between your home and the day care center. Some babies have a certain way of sleeping, or the desire to be picked up once they are in the first throes of crying. If you can’t find a teacher who will be able to handle this, your little one may have a hard time transitioning into the life in a day care.
The Cost Of Infant Day Care
Aside from the factors mentioned above, you’re probably thinking of infant daycare cost per hour which is logical since you will be paying for another person’s services. The average cost of an infant day care is $972 a month. This is the average, but the price can go up depending on your location. By the time your child reaches the age of 2, the cost will be an average of $733 per month.
Those who live in the city will find that the cost of sending your baby to child care programs will cost you more. An example of this is paying $997 per month for three days each week. Among the most expensive states for daycare are Massachusetts, Minnesota, California, New York, Colorado, and Illinois. If you are thinking of saving a few bucks, you and your partner might want to adjust your work schedules, so that someone will stay home on certain days. This also means that you can send your child to day care for a few hours which is acceptable in some day care centers.
When it comes to infant daycare cost per hour, if you will be hiring a nanny to look after your little one at home, you will be paying around $14.54 per hour which is equivalent to $581 per week. And because of this, most parents opt for day care centers because they are considerably cheaper. If you will be bringing your little one in a center, the average cost will be $211 per week. On the other hand, if you will choose daycare at home, then you will be shelling out $200 per week.
Before you can send your little one to an infant day care or preschool, you will need to consider having them vaccinated. The CDC or Centers for Disease Control has an immunization schedule which includes DTaP, hepatitis B, Prevnar, Hib, and IPV. Once your child has reached one year old, you need to give them booster doses of hepatitis A, MMR, Varivax and other vaccines as required by the CDC. For children who will be entering kindergarten, they will need to have the 4 to 6 year old boosters already. Having them vaccinated is for the health and safety of your little one when they start to socialize with teachers and other children in the center.
Are Daycare Centers Ideal For Infants?
It is understandable that you will be torn between staying with your child or sending them to a day care center once they reach a certain age. After all, you will need to get back to work to put food on the table and a roof over your head. The separation anxiety you are experiencing happens to all parents. But if you are thinking that leaving your child into someone else’s charge is harming your little one, this isn’t so. As a matter of fact, the experiences that your little one will receive in a development center will contribute to their social emotional, and brain development since you are exposing them to early learning.
Young children who grew up with you or a caregiver during their early years are sure to be well rounded individuals because of the social skills they have developed along the way. It is understandable that you will scrutinize all the caregivers you plan on hiring, because they will be the ones responsible for your child’s life in the few hours that you will be leaving your little one with them, but if you have done your homework on the infant day care center, the curriculum they are offering, and the classroom environment, you will be more at ease to leave your baby in the hands of the teachers there.
Benefits Of Day Care Centers
Are there any significant effects on your infant when you send them to a child development center? Compared to hiring a nanny or a baby sitter, day care centers provide children with a more structured environment. There are daily activities being done, and parents are given strict rules on when to bring and pick up their baby as well which means that there is a routine being established that can help your baby’s development.
Another plus to entering your little one in an infant program is that the arrangement is clear cut as opposed to working with a nanny or baby sitter who may not be available on certain days or when they are sick. In a day care center, there will always be someone who will be looking after your baby until the time you pick him or her up.
Teachers as well as staff members in day care centers undergo training on early childhood education as this is necessary to assist infants in child development, so they will be able to nurture their skills as needed. If you encounter a center whose staff is not well equipped to facilitate activities for the age group, you should look for another center instead.
You can check the program that daycare centers are offering to see what your baby will be learning. Some will give you a breakdown of their program as well as schedule, so you will know whether your little one is getting quality childcare or not. Studies show that children who were enrolled in quality day care centers developed better cognitive and motor skills, as well as better physical development as those who were enrolled in schools where learning is limited.
Another advantage to day care centers is that your baby will be able to develop relationships with their peers, which is important in their growth and development. The experiences that they will pick up in a center can work in their favor not just during their childhood but in their life in general.
Limitations Of Day Care Centers
Parents rely on day care centers when their baby reaches a certain age, but even if there are several benefits to be gained from such centers, they do have limitations too. Here are a few to take note of:
The cost of sending your baby in a day care center can be a bit pricey especially when you live in the city. If you are looking for high quality centers, you will need to dole out more than a thousand dollars.
Day care centers are dependable, true, but their hours are inflexible may not accommodate your work schedule. There are some centers, however, that will require additional payment for late pick-ups.
According to an NICHD study, they found that children who attend daycare tend to have more behavioral problems by the time they reach the age of 4 compared to those who were cared for by a caregiver or a parent.
Weighing the pros and cons of entering your baby in a day care center can help you decide what is best for your little one. It is up to you and your partner to determine whether it is time to send your little one to someone else’s care or not