Childcare & Preschool
- You get to be part of a larger school community.
- Your child learns to negotiate with friends, share, build relationships, and be independent.
- The school will help make your child’s learning visible. The program will support and challenge you and your child to learn and grow.
- A variety of art, music, sensory, math, science, physics, social, and outdoor experiences will be available for your child every day.
- You and your child get to make lifelong friends.
- Knowledgeable teachers can identify any atypical development.
- Group care standards for health and safety are regulated by the state and you can view records on the department of social services website.
- You will have a network of teachers knowledgeable in caring for children, child development, and parenting.
- Some people believe group care can strengthen young children’s immune systems before elementary school.
- High quality child care has been researched to be beneficial to children’s development, social emotional regulation, academic performance, and later achievement. However, the ideal age to enter care, effects of philosophy, and amount of time in a program are disputed.
- High quality care is very costly.
- It can be difficult to find and get into a good program.
- You may need to adapt to the program's schedule, rules, routines, and expectation.
- Sometimes your beliefs may conflict with the program’s philosophy.
- Your child may be exposed to things you would prefer they were not exposed to. (food, cleaning supplies, language, noise during sleep, etc.)
- Some families feel guilty or judged by others for using child care.
- You may find your child picking up negative habits, colds, germs, aggressive behaviors.
- Research has shown no link between early care and aggression.
- Low quality child care however has been researched and is found to be detrimental to children’s development, sense of security, attachment, and self-regulation.
What to plan for, ideas to consider, how to make sure group child care is right for your family.
Even if you find the most amazing high quality program there will be challenges, times you don’t see things the same, and it may be stressful. Consider the positives and negatives above and think through the following questions. How will I handle a conflict with my child’s teachers? How do I feel my child should spend his or her days? What are the program’s goals for children? How do they assess children’s development and how do I feel about my child being assessed? How do I feel about the program’s policy for guiding behavior? What will I worry about if I am away from my child? How much time do I feel comfortable spending away from my child? What can my partner and I do to stay connected with our child at home and school? At what age is quality out of home care right for our family?