When you have a young child, preschool and daycare come into play faster than you might expect. What is the best age for your child to start? Today we’re going to take a look at when a child will get the most benefit out of daycare, how long they may need to stay at daycare and the benefits of enrolling. When you’re looking to enroll your little one in preschool or daycare, call Texas Children’s Academy. We want to help your child start life on the right foot.

-What Age Should A Child Start Daycare At?

Research has shown that the best age for a child to start daycare at is at least 12-months-old. Now, just because that is the earliest age many people say is acceptable, that does not mean that your child will be ready for daycare that early. The biggest consideration you need to keep in mind is how your child reacts to being away from you. Some studies have shown that starting daycare too early creates increased stress levels in infants, so it’s a balance that you have to strike. The two questions you need to ask yourself are, 1) “How long will my child stay at daycare each day?” and 2) “What is my child’s natural stress level?”

-How Long Will They Be At Daycare?

Up until three-years-old, infants experience much higher stress levels when they are left at daycare for a full day. For most children, it’s recommended they stick to half days until they are at least three, whenever possible.

-What Is Your Child’s Natural Stress Level?

Every kid is different, so you are the best judge of your child’s stress and demeanor. A child that is typically easy going and calm will have a much easier time adjusting and adapting to childcare. If your child gets anxious easily, they are going to experience much more separation anxiety when away from you. When you’re not sure, you can try some half-days a few days a week just to see how they respond, then slowly extend the time until they are acclimated.

-Benefits Of Daycare

When your child is ready, there are many benefits to be gained, both for them and for you.

  • Early-age socialization with kids their own age teaches valuable social skills that will be used later in life. They will learn how to share, solve problems, and work as a team, which is all invaluable to ensure their success later, in school and life.
  • Provides an opportunity to make friends early in life, making the experience less lonely or isolating.
  • Being around other children will help them build a stronger immune system. Sure this means when your child starts daycare, they may get sick a few times, but it’s actually building up their natural defenses. That means fewer colds and fewer missed school days as they grow up.
  • By starting education early, they are more prepared for learning activities going forward, allowing them to make the most of them.
  • You’re going to get some time to yourself or adult interaction which, when you have a young child, we know is hard to come by.

Enrolling your child in daycare can have incredible benefits, but it’s important to take all of these things into account. When you are looking for daycare for your little one, call Texas Children’s Academy. We want to give them the tools to succeed.