As a working mom, daycare is a necessity in my life. I can’t even begin to tell you the positive impact that daycare has had on my girls, but all too often, I see negative posts about daycare. People saying they could never leave their kids in daycare, that they’re scared of daycare, etc. There is so much unwarranted negativity out there, and that hasn’t been my experience with daycare at all. I think most working parents would agree.
I know what benefits my girls have received from daycare, but since I also know I couldn’t possibly cover them all, I asked fellow working moms. The results? Amazing. If you’re nervous about sending your kids to daycare, concerned how they’ll adjust, worried they’ll get sick, what they’ll learn – read what these moms have to say. It’s truly incredible the village that daycare gives you.
On Academics, Skills, and Extra-Curriculars:
- Dana T. My son is light years ahead of where he needs to be to start Kindergarten this year. I can’t take much credit for that. He was learning Spanish at age 2 in daycare! Also, he isn’t even nervous about going to a new school. He is so used to the structure of daycare.
- Denise B. She learns from other children there. She walked early, crawled early and has learned to share early. They also taught her how to use a cup, spoon, fork and to take bites of food.
- Emily L. Learning, confidence in my child, social skills, relationship with other positive adults, opportunities for field trips and learning that I cannot accommodate, exposure to other cultures and races, routine, structure…I could go on
- Tiffany Y. My daycare talks to her in Spanish. So she can learn another language!
- Melinda E. My almost two-year-old recognizes some numbers and counts to ten! He also interacts so much better now that he has been in the toddler room for about a month! I love it! My4-year-oldd is MORE than ready for kindergarten in the fall. It was expensive but worth it to see them flourish!
- Megan S. Homework help! Kids give them less crap than they would give you when doing daily homework.
- Ana R. Other languages. Extra curricular activities (my dd took dance at her daycare a while ago and I liked not having that extra activity on the weekend).
- Leigh-Anne F. My kids are bilingual ( French and English). They have arts, music and other activities – they do ballet, karate, and a third language and took swimming lessons during daycare hours freeing up outside of daycare hours.
- Vicki S. Our daycare is a Spanish immersion program, so they are teaching my kids a language which I am not fully fluent (I stumble through conversational Spanish!)
- Jennifer T. I tried so hard to teach my son sign language and gave up then one day he started doing it…all daycare!
- Lauren L. So far Lorelei has learned her letters, numbers, and colors from daycare. They have also taught her to say “yes ma’am”
- Leigh L. I would agree with the socialization aspect! Also, the daycare we’re now at takes the kids on field trips and does a lot of interactive activities (arts/crafts, cooking/baking) and I love the fact that my kids are getting to do these extra fun things while I’m at work.
- Kayleigh S. Our provider is bi-lingual so him learning Spanish has been a huge plus!
On Routine, Structure, and Stability:
- Jaime L. This might be weird but it offered stability when we got divorced and changed houses. Daycare was the same!
- Kathy S. Sign language! I never knew the sign language for “please” or “more” before he started signing to me!
- Amanda M. A huge benefit for us is a structured day and how much she is learning. She has only been in day care for just over 8 months (she just turned 2 in June), but the last 8 months she has learned so much and has grown leaps and bounds.
- Chelsea M. We tried to transition our 5-month-old (at the time) from rock n play to crib and did absolutely horrible with it that weekend. Monday morning when dropping her off I explained how it went and our in home daycare lady said ok we’ll work on it today. She slept perfectly during her naps at daycare and has been on her crib for all naps and bedtime since!! She is a life and sanity saver!
- Jess B. My provider completely led the way on potty training. As a first time mom, it was a relief to have someone who had been there in lead – after all, she had trained a lot more kids than I had! I just trusted her method and it worked!
- Leigh-Anne F. Helped with naps. I could not get them right and my daycare was so helpful.
- Paige H. I went back to work with my first son (at 15 months) and he was so attached to me and daycare taught him that he would be ok without me all the time. I only have wonderful things to say about everything that daycare did for him- potty training, socialization, and just following directions- sitting in a circle, walking in a line, being responsible. Oh and napping! He learned that he took a nap every day which we struggled with before!
- Leigh L. Something daycare definitely helped with was getting my kids on a napping schedule when they were babies! (6-ish months old)
- Denise B. They offer foods I would never feed my daughter. I hate green peppers, mushrooms, and onions and because of daycare, my daughter had been exposed and decided she likes these things. I don’t buy these or ever make them so she would have never had the opportunity to try them without daycare.
- Jess B. My daughter refuses to try new foods for me. Flat-out refuses. Within a few weeks of going to her new center, she was trying new foods – even vegetables. I don’t know what magic they have, but I’ll take it!
- Meaghan M. my daycare has all the meals included. I also like that I can drop off my school aged kids and they will feed them breakfast and transport them to school.
- Kyla J. At daycare, my kid eats vegetables. And soup. And everything else on his plate. (That does not happen at home.)
- Stephanie F. Definitely food- new foods, different foods, transitioning foods.
On Friendship and Socialization:
- Buffy C. Fun and interaction with other kids – my LO is not even 2 and I can tell he is bored at home with me!
- Denise B. She gets the benefits of playing with kids all day long. social interaction. We are an only child household, and so without this she would not have the skills to interact with other kids. She loves to play with other kids and is good with both older and younger children.
- Laura N. Socialization. My daughter was home with me the first two years (I work from home) and when we put her in daycare she completely blossomed into this smart little creature and quickly got over her shyness!
- Amy M. So many things! On top of all the things other commenters have said, as an only child, I love the extra socialization he gets. My son also goes to a preschool at the university where I work, and he’s been exposed to so much from the other children there- counting in Spanish, some words in Farsi, holidays other than ours.
- Jacqui F. Friends! My son had a bff when they were like 5 months old and now they are 13 months and adore each other, it’s wonderful.
- Jacqui W. Same here! My daughter and her bff have been in different classes for a year and every time they see each other they still give each other a hug. They’re only 2! It’s the cutest and sweetest.
- Leigh-Anne F. Daycare teaches sharing. My kids made friends and learned to stand up for themselves. They get exposure to a lot of people from diverse cultures and background so this just feels natural to them.
- Elizabeth B. I’d say just overall socialization. The being around kids all day, every week day. Learning turn taking and sharing from Day 1. Sure Mason has cousins that he sees often but if I were at SAHM, except for the fact that I’d have probably enrolled in Mommy and Me classes and Gymboree and such, he was around kids all the time, learning how to interact and share. He is seriously SO social now! It’s crazy. And so uncommon for autism. I bet being in daycare and now preschool helped a lot with that!
- DeAnn M. My son is an only child. He learned sharing and socialization through daycare early on rather than at school later when it was harder.
- Kayleigh S. He’s a very social kid and loves playing with others. I think it really benefits his whole personality just based on who he is as a child.
On Germs and Immunity:
- Katie G. Our pediatrician actually recommends day care. He calls it the building of an immune library! My son gets sick less often and less severely than most of my friends’ children.
- Elizabeth B. I also agree with the germs comment! Sure, Mason had his fair share of colds when he first started as a baby (and still does) but my old co-worker’s son was at home until he went to kindergarten and then got sick ALL THE TIME.
- Stephanie F. And exposing to germs- call me crazy- we use a home daycare and rarely have sick kids and I attribute that to being around other kids and other germs.
- Leigh L. I have to respectfully disagree with the germs comments (at least in my experience). I heard this over and over before my children went to daycare, but all 3 of mine have been in daycare starting the moment my maternity leave ended and anytime any other child at the daycare gets sick, all of my kids pick it up as well. I definitely haven’t noticed any difference at all.
On Unexpected Skills:
- Andrea B. My oldest kids are 9 now and they were always daycare kids. Now that they are older and I have a younger one I can totally see how many little things daycare taught my kids. How to tie their shoes, how to share, how to follow directions the first time, how to sit down in one spot to have a snack, how to zip up their jacket, how to open Ziploc bags to prep for kindergarten, how to go to sleep without someone sitting next to them, etc.
- Denise B. They taught her to go up and down the stairs. one day we were home and I was going to teach her (normally i carried her down the stairs) and she slid all the way down on her belly. WHOA! Where did she learn that, cuz it wasn’t from me! They do things a lot earlier with her than I would have done, but she’s learned so much faster because of it.
- Katie G. My son knows how to cover his mouth with his shoulder, say excuse me, and bless you. He also knows to wash his hands when he sneezes on them. All of these skills were taught to him AT DAYCARE.
- Jacqui W. My daughter started saying “bless you” when we sneezed. She definitely didn’t learn that from us. Daycare for the win!
- Lexy K. Daycare teaches my daughters things we have no idea how to or wouldn’t even think to! Like my oldest learned how to peddle a tricycle from her friends there! Also before our second daughter was born there was a baby at daycare and he helped so much! Our daughter knew exactly what to expect from a baby and wasn’t even phased when we brought Lily home.
- Jessica S. Other than the fact that I miss him terribly and wish I could be with him all day, day care is amazing!!! Of course, it has to be the right fit, his last daycare his teachers were wonderful but with no structure or curriculum, my son stopped growing and we knew we had to pull him. He signs words now. He counts to 3 (he’s 18mo), he speaks in 2 and 3 word sentences. His vocabulary is through the roof. As much as I would like to, I can’t take the credit. His teachers and wonderful and the daycare (which is not a chain nor Montessori) is just phenomenal with them. His naps improved, his overnight sleeping improved. Think I love my kid’s daycare enough?
- Ashley A. Sitting and eating a meal at a table with utensils
- Kyla J. Daycare taught my two-year-old to put his jacket on by himself. He still (at 3.5 years old) does it their way by laying it on the floor, putting his hands in, & flipping it over his head while pushing his arms in.
- Jess B. One day my daughter started saying “Thank you” and “You’re welcome.” I hadn’t been working on that at all, so I know she learned it at daycare!
- Danyael G. Cleaning! Ryan is great at cleaning up.
On Support from your Provider:
- Christina B. Regular pay for weekly daycare was a plus of me. Even though I still pay every week regardless of if he goes or not I was able to take vacation time, deep clean the house, and handle business while he was in daycare. The daycare also provided formula and food which was a major plus since I don’t qualify for WIC. With how much formula he goes through I saved a bit of money.
- Laura N. And I love the village aspect of it. She learned so much from so many different amazing women and was loved by so many amazing women. I honestly felt that I wasn’t in this parenting thing solo so to speak (besides SO)
- Meghan P. Such a piece of mind for a FTM! The told me when he was ready to start solids, start sitting on the potty, move from a crib, Etc. Because they knew the signs better than I did! They also assured me he was on track when I was worried about developmental stages!
- April C. Socialization, exposure to diversity (different races, gender, age), language development. Also, by using a daycare provider (in home, company, other), you are helping someone who views childcare as their vocation and who is really good at what they do. There is value in allowing others to pour love into your kiddo.
- Veronica M. world experience! love that my child is aware there are other people around not just mom and dad. she has learned diversity in people, language, foods, culture. Learn to socialize and adapt to the world. I am happy to be able to provide that because I want her to her to survive in the world when i am no longer here to guide her.
- Emily L. To add an unintended, for me would be a break. I love my child dearly, but there are those days when they are being difficult that it is nice to let someone else handle it for a bit!
- Jaime W. I love that my daycare points out to me what a great job I do as a mom. I’m a single mom, so it’s thankless at times, and I love how my daycare tells me I’m doing an awesome job, and will point that out to my kids, too bc sometimes kids just don’t see when you’re trying hard. I love the care they provide, of course, but that’s one little thing I didn’t even know I needed to hear from someone when I began taking my kids there. They are true professionals at caring for kids with three decades more experience at it than I have. So to have a pat on the back from them brings me to tears. She knew I needed the encouragement. I’m sure she has seen me struggle to get them there a time or two. She sees when I’m ready to crack from pressure, and seen me burst in to tears from guilt. I love that she just knows when it’s my turn for a hug.
- Meaghan M. Also, I pay for a 10 hour day, so if I’m a little late at work I don’t worry about inconveniencing a babysitter.
- Jane D. She’s entertained all day and no mess at my house.
- DeAnn M. As a single parent, I have someone else to discuss issues with, bounce ideas off of, discuss development with.
- Jess B. Let’s face it, we’re all winging this mom thing. It’s really nice to be able to discuss things with someone who’s been there, and someone that sees my kids every day!
Anything you would add? What benefits have you seen from having your kids in daycare? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add them in!