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What is the best age to start daycare?

What is the best age to start daycare?

You only want the best for your child, especially when it comes to education. While you may have figured out the perfect daycare, it is common to be confused about when you can get your kid enrolled. 

Deciding the right age for daycare can be a difficult decision. A lot of factors play an important role in deciding when your child is ready for daycare.

Growth of a child at different ages

Let’s understand how children grow and act at certain age groups to determine if your child is ready for daycare.

0 to 18 months

Some parents may want to return to their normal work routine as soon as possible. Although this can be very early to put a child in daycare, it is still possible to find centres for this age group. At this early age, children start forming attachments and bonding with their parents or primary caretakers, making this an important age for childhood development.

The daycare for this age has smaller group sizes. This helps in creating a family-like atmosphere and makes the interaction more personal. This also makes it difficult to find a daycare centre for this age as not a lot of caregivers will have space for more children.

18 months to 3 years

This is the age where children start exploring. They have a lot of energy and need direction. Children at this age require special attention in daycare as they start to grow and have a lot of curiosity.

Enrolling your child in a daycare at this age will help bring out creativity and active participation. It will also help your child to learn to be in a group and learn good social behaviour.

The daycare centres for this age group need to maintain safe and healthy premises and have faculty with good experience who can help guide the children and encourage them.

3 years to 5 years

Children in this age group are closest to entering preschool. Hence, the requirements for them are different from younger kids. At this age, a child starts differentiating and learning basic life skills and behaviour. So, it is important for them to have the right guidance. They start developing a sense of independence. So, they need to be taught how to work in group activities, complete the given tasks and have good social interactions. 

Daycare for this age can help prepare your child to enter schooling by teaching them the basic skills and requirements needed for school.

Deciding when your child is ready to start daycare

There is no one standard age that can be considered as the perfect age for your child to start daycare. Enrolling your child in a daycare program is dependent on various individual circumstances. This makes it important to assess the situation fully and make a wise decision.

Typically, waiting till your child turns one can be considered to enrol him/her in daycare. But deciding the best age depends on the parents. 

Each child has a unique personality and nobody knows a child better than the parents. There is no such thing as the perfect age to enrol in daycare and every child adjusts differently in the daycare environment. The perfect age for one child to start daycare may not be the same as another child.

Other factors like financial decisions, the timeline for the parents to get back to work also play a part in deciding to start daycare.