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!
Does anyone have any suggestions on good daycares here in Knoxville? I have an 9 month old.
What area do you live in? We use Littlebug’s Learning Leaf, and it’s in the Bearden/West Hills area. We love it. One of our writers, Sarah, also wrote a great post about finding a daycare here: https://knoxvillemoms.com/choosing-the/ and here is a post with a few recommendations for the west area: https://www.facebook.com/KnoxvilleMomsBlog/posts/414167758747796. I highly recommend going to the state’s website, where you can search by zip code, and it will tell you the ages they take, star rating, and any violations they might have had: http://www.tn.gov/accweb/faces/stateMapPage.jsp;jsessionid=5D59253E43296187734304CA7A742AEE . If you are in the Farragut area, one of my friends using The Nannies and love it there. Let me know if I can offer you any more help!
Heather, I work for the Child Care Resource and Referral Center. You can call Cathy at our office (865) 974-7750 and ask her or if you would like to talk to me, send me your number and tell me a good time to call you and I will. Donna Carver
Thank you for your daycare love note! My son has been in daycare/pre-k since he was 4 months old (he’s almost 4 now) and over the years we have gotten a lot of flack about it from friends, family, and co-workers. I think everyone’s experience is different but we certainly love our son’s school and I adore the relationships he is building with not just his teachers but his friends. Seeing their interactions and how much he learns from school never ceases to amaze me and I have no doubt that through the work he does at school and the reinforcement we do at home he’ll have no problem adjusting the elementary school next year.
Thank you Melissa! I am just incredibly thankful that daycare exists. I will never forget the first time I heard my daughter tell one of her little friends “love you” as well as the teachers. It nearly made my heart explode.
Thank-you so much Caitland.
thank you for sharing this. I’m a childcare provider and usually we get a bad rap over everything. I’m so glad to see some positive. Most providers work really hard to provide a safe, loving, fun, and educational place for children. I love my job.
This is such a great post that it makes me want to get my daughter into daycare so that she can meet more fun new friends and play with teachers (she stays at home with my awesome husband now and she’s learning a ton there, too though).
Thanks for writing this and the links, Im bookmarking them for the future.
Heather, where are you located in Knoxville? I own a small center on Rutledge Pk. Jungle Tots, 865-932-7704. Vicky
Thanks for the great article on daycare. I am a teacher for infant’s 9-15 mths. A lot of people do not realize what is expected of childcare providers. We have 18 or more hours of training a year we r certified in first aid and cpr. These are required when you work in a center. Not only to children get sick so do we as teachers.There are seven infants in my class and i love each and everyone of them like they were my own grandchildren. We worry when they r sick.we r excited when they learn new things. It is a very tiring but rewarding job. When you see those little eyes light up when they see you in the mornings it will melt your heart.
Thanks for posting! Due in July and the guilt of having to likely utilize daycare has already begun building. This article helps 🙂
Another plus of daycare — help with potty training! My daughter wasn’t at all interested in potty training, but at age 2 when she moved into the next room, of 2-3 year olds, suddenly she wanted to sit on the potty all the time. A few months later she was having dry diapers all day and sitting on the potty to pee, and by 2 yrs/5 months, she was potty trained. Hallelujah! Thank you, Daycare!
I love daycare too. I really love knowing he is interacting with other babies and is in a different environment than just being home all the time. I kind of feel like it’s one of those “Good Mommy” things I could do for him. I really like the convenience that if I need to get some house work done or run errands I can drop him off too and pick him up when I am ready. REALLY love that.