What Is The Right Age To Start Childcare?
Perhaps, deciding on the right age to begin childcare is one of the most challenging decisions you have to make in your parental journey. By deciding to opt for childcare, you are deciding with whom and in which environment your child will spend a considerable time of their growing years.
What Is The Right Age For Childcare?
Your decision on when to start childcare primarily depends on your unique circumstances and the requirements of your child. According to childcare experts, the optimal age to start daycare is just after the child’s first birthday. The switch to a daycare when your little one heads towards the toddlerhood will result in your child making leaps in his/her language, social and motor skills will help him/her better adopt to the new environment.
Before you make the transition to daycare, you will have to ask yourself the below three questions.
- Is my child confident with strangers when I am not around?
- Is he/she ready to adjust to a new and unfamiliar environment?
- Is he/she ready for peer interaction while making new friends?
In order to answer these questions, you will need to observe your child carefully to get a better idea about his/her level of development and personality. Also, you will need to consider how your child will react to an atmosphere that is all new to him/her.
However, if you answered, “no” to any of the above questions, it would be better off waiting few months until your child is actually ready to start daycare. Until such time, look for other ways to provide care to your child such as in-home care by a nanny instead of centre-based care.
Childcare centres in Singapore usually enroll toddlers and children from 1 to 13 years. However, some centres offer infant care for babies less than 12 months, easing the stress of working parents who want the best care for their young babies while they are away at job.
If you decide to place your baby in a centre that provides infant care, you will have to be extra careful as babies require more individual attention than toddlers or children.
- Breast milk, without a doubt is the best food for your baby until six months. Placing your nursing baby in a childcare will not allow you to feed the baby every time he/she needs. However, you can provide bottles of expressed breast milk to make sure your baby gets the best nutrition during his/her early months.
- Select a centre with adequate experienced staff to make sure that every baby is given adequate attention
- Caregivers at the centre should be warm and nurturing. Babies, in particular, need a lot of love, attention and mental stimulation to flourish as toddlers.
Toddler And Childcare
Your options for toddler and childcare centres in Singapore are wider than those of infant care as there are many facilities that offer various types of childcare options to suit your budget, lifestyle and work schedules.
- Even though toddlers are a few steps ahead of babies, they too need constant adult supervision in a safe and conducive environment.
- All children develop at their own pace and in their own way. Your child’s abilities and needs may vary from another child who is of the same age. It is important that your childcare partner is well aware of this fact and appreciate your child along their development journey.
- The care needed by your child changes as he/she grows older. So, think about what sort of care will best suit your child with his/her age and make sure you place him/her in an environment that will encourage your child to stretch his/her capabilities.
- Caring for preschoolers and school age children should be enriched with age-appropriate educational and sports activities, opportunities for peer interaction and a lot of encouragement to explore the world around them.
- It is important to schedule visits before you enroll your child in a daycare to get a better idea of the caregivers and the environment of the centre. With Parentdigm’s Schedule-A-Visit function, you can arrange visits to childcare centres with a simple click!
- You never know the quality of a daycare until you place your child in the centre. But, with Parentdigm review portal you can reduce the odds of making a wrong decision as the reviews made by parents like you will help you find the best fit for you and your child!
Like all the decisions you make about your children, your decision concerning the right age for childcare depends on your unique circumstances and the needs of your child. Most importantly, the daycare you choose should be able to give you the assurance that your little one is looked after well even when you are physically not there with him/her.