It seems we can’t go more than a few days without hearing a daycare-related horror story. From incidents of disturbing neglect to overcrowding, the daycare industry as a whole has come under serious fire in recent years.
As a result of some of this negative press and my own preconceived notions, I really grappled with the prospect of enrolling my daughter in a daycare program when she turned a year old. I downright resisted it for a while.
In my mind, daycare wasn’t a place with a lot of rhyme or reason. I pictured dropping off my child in carpeted room with a few toys and basic supervision where she’d largely be left to her own devices for the duration of the day. In short, I was expecting little more than a glorified and rather expensive babysitting service.
I’m happy to report I was wrong.
In the months since our daughter began attending daycare, I’ve noticed such positive developments in her growth and demeanor. Beyond the obvious displays of maturity – from learning to eat with a spoon to expanding her vocabulary and learning to put her toys away – it’s been a joy to see her evolve socially into a tiny person with a life of her own.
So much thought and care goes into the daycare’s daily curriculum, from indoor sensory activities to physical outdoor play, she is constantly stimulated by new and challenging activities to exercise her body and mind.
Suffice it to say that seeing her thrive in her new environment has completely changed my perspective on what daycare’s all about. The care and attention she receives coupled with the top notch programming has turned that “glorified babysitting” stereotype I once believed right on its head.
At this point, I’d even be willing to say that choosing to go the daycare route was one of the best parenting decisions we’ve ever made.
I realize my family’s experience isn’t universal and that plenty of daycares across Canada are the focus of justifiable anxiety, concern and in some cases – legal trouble. We are extremely fortunate with our daycare experience thus far and it isn’t lost on me that many people in the system are not so lucky.
The point of this post is simply to shed light on the other side of the issue and reassure any of the non-believers out there (I used to be one of them!) that beyond the disturbing headlines we so often read, are the many wonderful upsides of sending your child to daycare.