7 Benefits of Early Childhood Care
When exploring child care options for your child, there are many factors to consider, especially when comparing early childhood centers to an in-home daycare. Here are seven benefits of early childhood centers to consider as you research your options.
Health & Safety
The state regulates health and safety in early childhood centers. Centers that choose to be a part of their state quality assurance program undergo even higher expectations. Classrooms are sanitized daily, if not more, and include sinks to allow children to wash their hands frequently. All staff is trained on the most up-to-date health and safety practices for the field.
All early childhood centers must be licensed by the state to operate. A random inspection takes place annually to ensure they meet all safety guidelines and ratios outlined by the state. They must maintain up-to-date paperwork on children and teachers, including certification and training for CPR, First-Aid, fire safety, and supervision.
Early childhood centers provide layers of monitoring that may not be present in in-home settings. Most early childhood centers have lead teachers and assistant teachers in a classroom, Program Supervisor or Assistant Director, and Center Director on location daily. Having multiple people in and out of the classroom holds everyone accountable for maintaining high standards of care.
Each early childhood center prepares an emergency plan. These plans account for things like weather-related emergencies, family or teacher illness, or accommodating family vacations and schedule changes. Staffing at an in-home facility can become complicated when back-up plans are not available. Early childhood centers benefit from additional teachers and do not need to close when someone is on vacation or unexpectedly out sick.
Early childhood centers typically offer robust age-appropriate, research-based curriculum and enrichment opportunities to guide their teaching. The benefit of this type of program is that children gain exposure to a diverse curriculum developed specifically for their age and learning milestones. Programs like this are not always possible when it comes to in-home settings where children of different ages might complete the same activities side-by-side. Early childhood centers enhance learning opportunities by providing enrichment classes and experiences such as Spanish, soccer, dance, music, computers, or even swimming lessons.
Teachers in early childhood centers typically have years of experience and have made a career out of teaching young children. Many have gone to school and received degrees in education. They have seen many children grow and go through different stages, which helps to problem-solve various situations they may encounter. Teachers also have a variety of resources to draw from in an early childhood center to continue their training.
Providing children with lots of opportunities to socialize with kids their age is a benefit of early childhood care. Children can parallel play and develop essential skills by watching their peers. Positive peer pressure starts to develop, and children challenge each other to explore, grow, and learn. Children learn to share, be aware of others, and make new friends when they have peers close in age to them.
Choosing the best early childhood care for your child is one of the toughest decisions you may have. Explore all your options to find care that meets all of your child’s needs. Finding care that feels like home while supporting your child’s education, safety, and wellbeing is also essential. Early childhood centers can strike that perfect balance between a child’s home away from home and their escape to explore their world in new and creative ways!