Daycares get a lot of flack. Germs (germs, and more germs), strangers watching your kids, the rising cost, etc. While I don’t love the cost of daycare, I am learning to love daycare (yes, even the germs). Sure, no one is going to love my child like I can, but I know the teachers love her and know her idiosyncrasies just as well as I do, if not better. Daycare has definitely become a part of my village, and I am finding more and more reasons to love daycare everyday. So if you are a new mom stressing out over sending your little one daycare or even if you are a seasoned mother who still feels guilt about daycare, I’m sharing my list of eight reasons to love daycare.
1) Routine – It almost seemed too easy, even when my daughter went from two naps a day to one nap a day. Not only does my daughter almost always take at least an hour and a half nap, but she sleeps from 8:30 at night until 7:15 in the morning (or later). And while daycare may or may not have anything to do with clockwork sleep schedule, I am sure that her seamless daytime routine has only helped. She tells me when she’s hungry for a snack, when it’s lunch time, snack time again, etc. She’s even whipped me into a bit of a routine, and I love it!
2) Reliability – I never have to worry about having a place to take my daughter; daycare is (almost) always going to be open. Even if I really need to use a vacation day from work to run errands, I can still take her to daycare for a few hours just to get whatever I need to done, and it’s not a shock to her because she’d be there anyway. Not to mention, even when snow was closing down schools, daycares try to stay open as much as possible because they know parents still have to go to work.
3) Village – The teachers and staff pour their heart and soul into helping raise my child. Even though I miss my child when I’m at work, they always tell me they missed my daughter after a long weekend or vacation. Not to mention, some of the teachers bring their own kids to daycare, sacrificing time with their own child to look after mine.
4) Friends – One of the perks of daycare is that it comes with built-in friends for my daughter. She has eleven little playmates that she sees all of the time and talks about all of the time! As soon as we pull in the parking lot, she gets excited and starts shouting their names. It is beyond adorable.
5) Memories – I’m not the crafty type of party, but daycare has got me covered. They are always doing fun and cute things with the kids, and the kids enjoy every moment. My daughter never hesitates to let me put her down in the mornings when the paint is already out, and the teachers are saints for cleaning paint off all of those tiny fingers and toes.
6) Diversity – I love that she is exposed to a wide variety of other people and interactions. She witnesses interactions between the teachers, older and younger kids, and even gets to see the other parents picking up their own children. She’s at that age where she is absorbing everything and anything, and it makes me happy that she is surrounded by so many different people to teach her things, big and small.
7) Learning – For the longest time, my daughter would start chanting something that sounded something like an obscenity related to the word butt. It was a little bit of a sing-song, and I was confused as ever until one day, it dawned on me that she was singing “Ring Around the Rosie” and what I was hearing was “Ashes, ashes”…minus the h. I wish I could say I taught her that song, but I definitely didn’t. It’s a fun little game her and her friends at daycare had been playing, and I was a little stunned to say the least. And that’s just one of the many things that my daughter has learned at daycare. She has practically become a little parrot, and I know the environment she’s in only encourages her to continue learning and growing every day.
8) Germs – Oh, germs. There are times when I have hated daycare germs, i.e. when I’m still having to pay the weekly fee while missing a few days of work to take care of my daughter. But she has already built up quite the immune system. Don’t get me wrong, it took a while, but at probably about 18 months, she’s managed to avoid quite a few of the major illnesses, even things her own little friends were catching at daycare. And because I generally catch everything she catches, I’ve finally built mine back up as well (including missing the stomach bug that has gotten my husband twice in a month). Now excuse me while I go knock on some wood.
What is your favorite thing about daycare? Share with us in the comments!