What is the earliest age you would put your child in daycare?

Kerry - posted on 10/31/2010 ( 142 moms have responded )

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I have been thinking of going back to work a few days a week but dont really feel comfortable with leaving my daughter with complete strangers at 8mths old.
What is the earliest age you would put your children in daycare?

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Jessy - posted on 11/09/2010

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This comming from someone who has worked in four different daycares......I WILL NOT put my child in daycare untill he is old enough to start K-3 at the private school he will go to for kindergarden. You wouldn't believe the things I've seen go on in daycares.

Lauren - posted on 11/03/2010

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Both of my kids have been in daycare since they were 6 months and 4 months. My daughter is now in Kindergarten and my son is 2 1/2. They are extremely well socialized and outgoing. In fact, at our first parent/teacher conference for my daughter, her teacher praised us for having such a giving, sweet, caring daughter who was the first to ask someone playing by themselves to play with her. I credit the wonderful daycare that we placed the kids in. We also always make sure that when we are home together, we spend quality time even if we don't get quantity time. Honestly, I am a better mom to my kids because of my full time job...because we appreciate our time together more. Daycare/Pre-school is not a bad thing. Interview daycares. Find one that feels like home and a community and you can't go wrong.

[deleted account]

i put my son in at 8 months. i would prefer not to put a child in until 6 months or later, but sometimes they need to go in earlier so that bills can be paid. i am a big advocate of daycare, whether home based or otherwise, because i think it gives kids a chance to socialize with other kids their own age and get into a routine and they often do programming with them

Natasha - posted on 05/24/2013

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I put mine in at 4 months for 4 days a week. If you have goals you'll put your kids in sooner and make your family as a whole more well rounded. Its like pulling off a band-aid. Plus getting back to work after years off is difficult and puts all the financial burden on either the father (if there is one) or family. My child happily plays with others and is learning important social skills and I get away for brief periods of time, I need a life too.

Brittany - posted on 11/02/2012

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I put my daughter in daycare at 6 weeks. I didn’t have a choice because I had to go back to work. She is 10 months old now and does just fine at daycare. She loves all her teachers! My sis is a SAHM and her little boy is 3months ols and she will never leave him anywhere. EVER. I actually think that is only hurting him because one day when she has to leave him for whatever reason, he will NOT do well. Guaranteed.

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Jas - posted on 02/18/2013

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My son started at. 2 years old. I think that is a perfect age. I know some people have to go back to work . But these special years of your olds life never come back . Honestly kids in the baby room never look too happy.

Rachel - posted on 01/20/2013

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I put my son in at one, but only because I had to in order to be able to complete the requirements for my teaching degree. This is not something that I would have liked to have done and I feel that if I could have done it over, I would have kept him home a little bit longer. He has adjusted well though and now enjoys going. I think that I would have liked to have waited until 1 1/2 if I could have though.

Tracy - posted on 01/09/2013

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The only thing I have to say about this is to make sure you research the daycare you want to put your child in. Also make drop invisits at diffrent times of the day unannounced to check in on your child. I know some daycares here where I live they actually have caneras in the rooms and you can watch your childs class from your phone or home/work computer. It is an extra cost but it just might be worth it for your comfort and ease.

[deleted account]

I think that the choice is not the mothers choice. but the choice comes through necessity in some cases of working mothers, If you are just a mom wanting to get a break and give the little one a jump on social world of school then I would think that three years old is not too young but 4 would be better. If you cant find an individual to care for your 8 month old baby, you have hard time finding childcare centers that provide for babies that young. I would look for a place that provided private sleeping areas and cribs with individual attention as opposed to the generalized classroom type of place. Those places are not so good for tiny children but mothers have to do what mothers have to do and . Parents have to demand that childcare centers provide for the safety and proper care of their children. Force them to comply with the rules . force them to hire more workers and provide safe private areas for the little ones and caring workers.

Elizabeth - posted on 12/09/2012

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I put my first child, my daughter, into daycare 3 days per week when she was 6 weeks. (I was only given 6 weeks for my maternity league) We are lucky to have lots of extended family to take care of her the other 2 days. 2 years later when my son was born, I did the same thing. My kids loved their daycare (and still do) and for my advice to you, Kerry, I think going back to work a couple days per week is a great idea, I have read many articles stating its best for babies when their mothers work part time Good luck!!

-Elizabeth

Erin - posted on 11/08/2012

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honestly its watever u feel comfortable with my oldest is almost 3 and she still hasnt been to a daycare

Brittany - posted on 11/02/2012

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I put my daughter in daycare at 6 weeks. I didn’t have a choice because I had to go back to work. She is 10 months old now and does just fine at daycare. She loves all her teachers! My sis is a SAHM and her little boy is 3months ols and she will never leave him anywhere. EVER. I actually think that is only hurting him because one day when she has to leave him for whatever reason, he will NOT do well. Guaranteed.

Brittany - posted on 11/02/2012

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I put my daughter in daycare at 6 weeks. I didn’t have a choice because I had to go back to work. She is 10 months old now and does just fine at daycare. She loves all her teachers! My sis is a SAHM and her little boy is 3months ols and she will never leave him anywhere. EVER. I actually think that is only hurting him because one day when she has to leave him for whatever reason, he will NOT do well. Guaranteed.

Leslie - posted on 10/22/2012

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my daughter does not go to daycare because me and my honey work oppiste shifts and we can't afford it. my mom had us in daycare when I was three and my bother was a baby.

Kristy - posted on 10/09/2012

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My daughter started daycare at 2 years and 3 months, just one day a week. I was hoping to hold her off until at least 3 but I had to because of work. Now that I see how much my daughter loves it, I would probably start any future kids a bit earlier.

Lindsay - posted on 10/09/2012

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My son just started daycare at 10 months and while there is small amount of separation anxiety, he seems to like it. I would have loved to stay home with him but I had to go back to work full time when he was 2 months old (lack of leave time & needed the income). Luckily, until now he has stayed at home with my husband who was a stay at home dad and two days a week with my parents. He is now going three days a week (715-530) and still spends two days with his grandparents. Before choosing a daycare I asked my friends who have kids in daycare if they like the center, I also checked out the regional website for the office for child and family services which lists wether the office is up to code, certified by the state, and if there are any violations or recent incidents.

Merry - posted on 10/09/2012

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I think the majority of kids in daycare are there because they have no other option. Babies are always better off with mom or dad then in daycare, but when needed, daycare can be a safe and healthy option when mom and dad and other relatives and friends are unable to care for the child.

I'd think parents should exhaust all other options first, but if necessary, find a daycare you trust and stay on top of the wituation and be proactive about being sure the teachers are trustworthy etc.

We prefer to live on less and have me stay home and offer in home child are to other parents. It's hard, but worth it to me to be able to raise my kids 24/7

Sally - posted on 10/09/2012

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I wouldn't. Popular culture tells us that babies don't care who takes care of them, but it been proven not true over and over and children are suffering for it. My husband and I adjust our work schedules so of of us is with our children.

Mindy - posted on 10/08/2012

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I think its great to get back into the work enviroment because its something that you WANT to do.I went back to work when my daughter was 4 months from 7p~7a 3x's a week and she was breast fed for 14mths straight. My husband and her slept at night while I was at work.i also had 2months supply of milk stored prior to going back to work so there would be no shortages.im a first time mom so I over processed everything.

Jaime - posted on 11/16/2010

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I am not as fortunate as all of you on here! I had no choice in the matter being that my in-laws work and my parents are deceased. I had to go back to work. My daughter has been in daycare since she was 11 weeks old. The most important thing is knowing that she is in good hands. She is safe, and they love her, which is all that matters at the end of the day, even if it is super expensive!!!!

Tabatha - posted on 11/16/2010

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Hi All - Circle of Moms has been such a support for me over the last 20 months but this is the first time I have posted a response - the featured conversation turned up the day I put Lachlan into preschool! There are very few kid friendly places where I live and my boy is so energetic and outgoing I thought he'd just love it. He is 20 months but unfortunately after saying goodbye to him and him happily wandering off to 'chat' to classmates 3 hours later I picked up a sobbing little boy who a week after is just not himself - plainly fearful of things he has never been previously waking at night and not settling when being put down refusing to go to the ladies he normally plays with at the morning market etc I am lucky to be in a position where I don't have to get him used to it I was doing it to add value to his day. Still he has friends that go and just love it. I think it depends on the child and of course how comfortable you feel with the venue.

Nicole - posted on 11/14/2010

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I put my daughter in 3 hours a day, five days a week when she was four months. I found a really good daycare and she loves it there. She is almost 1 year old now.

I waited so long to get my son into daycare because the waiting lists were so long. When I got in a place I went with it and it was the wrong fit for him. I am still playing damage control for that mistake. He is now 4 and I am trying to decide where to send him to school

Julie - posted on 11/14/2010

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I wouldn't do it at all if you can help it. I was blessed that when I went back to work part time when my oldest was 2 months old, that I worked evenings and Saturday so that my husband was there to watch our daughter. Then when I had to go back to work full time my mom watched her T-Th and my mother-in-law watched her on Fridays. Once we moved across the country again I worked opposite hours of my husband so that one of us always watched them. Then my sister moved in with us and watched our children in the evenings when we worked. After my sister graduated high school and moved back home the nightmare began. I went through one childcare provider after another. It was so hard on my girls. Every time we would get a good provider they would stop tending children in favor of a better paying job. It got to the point where I was using teenagers to babysit my girls. Most were o.k., but I had an incident with one who I didn't know had been sexually abused as a child and made my 3 year old daughter dress and undress in front of him through her entire wardrobe while he watched her. I tried to work opposite my husband again, but we were working at the same place by then and the store manager kept scheduling us to work together late at night when teenagers can't even babysit. It was so horrible for my girls and me that finally I quit working and stayed at home with them. Money was tight, but we got by and it was the best thing for them to have their mother at home. 4 years later we again needed extra income and I tried working graveyard, but that doesn't work so well when you have a 2 year old at home. Since then I have babysat and taught private music lessons from home to earn extra income while staying home with our children. Doctors don't recommend having children in daycare at all, but if you absolutely have to they say not before 2 years old because they get sick constantly and the risk of them getting RSV, which is often fatal to children under 2, is so high in daycare, it's just not worth the risk to your child. If you can find a private provider that would be better than a daycare center, but if she has other children under 2 that she watches you will still have the same risk with RSV even with the most frequent handwashing. I hope you can figure something out that will be best for your child. Ideally it's best to always have her at home with her parents, but with the economy the way it is sometimes moms don't have a choice and must return to work. I hope you can find a situation that you'll all be happy with and that your child will still be able to thrive. By the way our daughters were 2 and 3 before anyone non-family watched them while I worked.

Whitney - posted on 11/13/2010

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You shouldnt be afraid of putting your child in daycar. Children learn from other children- both positive and negative. If you aren't comfortable with a daycare try a home daycare- the people have more time to spend with individual kids and (having worked at 1) they're great! good luck!

Melanie - posted on 11/13/2010

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I went back to work after 6 weeks with my daughter and nearly 9 with my son however my mum and dad look after them both for the one or two nights a week I work. I don't have to work financially either but I missed that part of my life. My daughter is now two and has been at daycare 2 days a week for a year and loves it. I send her to daycare so that she can socialize with other kids because we don't have any friends with kids her age. I didn't put her in until she could talk though so that if something did happen she could communicate it to me. I also looked at plenty of centres until I found one I was happy with.

Lauren - posted on 11/12/2010

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My daughter has been in daycare since she was 8 wks old. I'm in the Army so I had no choice, but the catch is to find a daycare or a babysitter you completely trust! They should let you come see her whenever you want so you can check up on her and the child care providers. Also lay down some clear cut rules and tips about your daughter to help insure that they are taking good care of her the way you do! It helps make your life and your daughters life a little easier! Plus when they are older, even around 12 mo like my daughter is now, they will love going to daycare and playing with the other kids!

[deleted account]

i used to be a childcare teacher, and some centres will take babies from 3-6weeks old. but my son will be 2 at the end of the month and he is going to daycare next year so he can learn to play with others. When he was about 10 months i started to work casual hours at a school, and he was and still is when i work looked after by my grandma.
but if you feel ready to go back to work find a good centre, ask alot of questions, don't be afraid to ask hard questions, if you life in aust use to NCAC and DOCs websites to help you find a well rated centre.

Ntombi - posted on 11/12/2010

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I had to send mine at 3 Months as I had to go back to work after 4 months. It was not easy but he has settled very well.

Stacey - posted on 11/11/2010

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hi there i am an educator in a day care and i dont suggest if you have other options to put them before they are able to comunicate and also i find that if you have long working hours it wll be hard on both of you im in that delema myself and feel that my ten month old is still to young for me to leave him for eight hours straight

Amanda - posted on 11/11/2010

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i put my daughter in when she was 2 months old , as i was studying and had no other option. shes 1 now. and she still goes , she loves it. she has a ball. :)

Pamela - posted on 11/11/2010

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my first was 3 months when I put him in a creche 2 day a week for an hour each time so I could go to the gym I had my second in the creche from 8 weeks they then started daycare 1 or 2 days a week when my oldest was 20 Months and the youngest was just 6 months they do fine with it I work nights and 1 day on the weekend Cameron goes in Tuesdays and Thursdays ( had a take him to 3 year old school for 2 hours 1 day a week) and Ewan is in Mondays and Tuesdays, so I get Monday with just Cameron and Thursay with just Ewan ( we do special things together swimming gym dance) and Tuesday is my day to catch up on sleep and go to the chiropractor and do the weekly shopping. We don't have family of friends near us so they are a great asset for us.

I don't go back just for money I went back for me I lost a really good career by having children but I also gained the best job in the world looking after them it would make no sense for them to be in full time and I would miss they so so much, but having said that it is so nice to have them socialize and a break. they both love it Cameron the eldest have a receptive and expressive delay and I find he is better after a day of daycare ( watching playing and learning from other kids) then he is with speech and OT ( which cost me a fortune) Ewan my younger one is a smarty pants and rules the roost in the under 2 year olds class he tells them off and boss's them around they are going to move him up to toddler 4 months early cause he is a bit bored so they should teach him a thing or two with the 2-3 year olds in charge.. they have been at there current daycare for 10 months now and they love there carers ask for them and love the other kids its a small centre and they have really taken an interest in the boys.

Helen - posted on 11/11/2010

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My babys only little yet but I'm planning on putting mine in nursery 3 days per week when she is 8 months old. If you do some introductory visits before your little one goes it might make you feel better but I think its a good age to return to work. Just think of the benefits for the baby's social development from being with other adults and babys. x

EMMA - posted on 11/11/2010

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i was the same my daughter was 2 as well she didnt want to leave us she was going 2 days a wk at that time as she got used to it we put it up to 3 days a wk and she really loved going there she was there for about 18ms when she had to leave she was upset but she loves it in primary school in the nursery department she done 9ms in the afternoon now she's in the mornings then she'll be going to reception in the school

Mélanie - posted on 11/11/2010

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My daughter will go to a private daycare at 25$ a day full time in february 2011. The lady has at least 20 years experience with young children. I feel very lucky to have found her. Me and my daughter have met with her and the three other little girls she's already taking care of and my daughter seemed to do ok. I know this cannot replace me or for her to be able to stay at home, but I think I found something good for my little angel.

Danielle - posted on 11/11/2010

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My little one was in daycare by 4 months old. Full time job didn't allow anything else. But daycare is always a good option because it gets the children sociallizing!! Teaches a lot of essential things to the kids about sharing and things. Just find a great daycare and be cautious about everything you might not like. And ask around!!

Sarah - posted on 11/11/2010

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My daughter started at 8 weeks, but I was a teacher at that childcare facility, and had been for a few years. We went in when she was about 4 weeks and "introduced" her to her teachers, and visited several times over the next four weeks so that they would become more familiar faces. As a co-worker, I was already aware of routines in the classroom, and I was able to peek in on her during my breaks.

HOWEVER, as soon as I was able, I became a SAHM (she was 18 mos); she has had some developmental delays (late to crawl, walk, use a cup--all due to low muscle tone) and I felt the one-on-one would be more beneficial to her as she entered an age where the child to teacher ratio is 9:1.

I agree with previous posters who say to do your homework on a center; don’t just ask about price! So many people only go with the lowest cost—I know you need to save money, but these are your CHILDREN, and you usually get what you pay for!! Ask about ratios in classrooms, staff turnover/ how long have the teachers your child would be with been there, THEIR required training for teachers--some states require a grand total of 8 clock hours training before someone can work in a childcare classroom…yes, only one day of training before they can care for your new baby!! After you have more facts, then you can make an educated decision. Who knows, you may even find that the center you pay a median price for is actually BETTER than the pricey one!

Mélanie - posted on 11/11/2010

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I've been lucky enough to get a full year off from work. Unfortunately I have to go back full time. My little angel will have to go to daycare full time at a year old. I think this is too young as I would love to be a stay at home mom for at least the first 3 years. Unfortunately our financial situation does not allow for that. It will be extremely hard for me, but probably easier for my daughter :). If you can stay at home to see your little one grow up and be the primary influence, do it. I would give up a lot to be able to spend more time with her.

Katie - posted on 11/11/2010

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I've never wanted to put my children in daycare. I just didn't like the idea of a stranger raising my children. My daughter's 7 months, and I stay at home with her. The only people that have ever watched her are my in-laws, and they've only watched her a few times. I'm very clingy to her. I think that it probably is because it took 4 1/2 years to get pregnant with her. I cherish every moment I've got with her. If I had to work, I would rather a friend or family member watch her, however if I didn't have anyone that was able to watch her and she had to go to daycare, I would just be very careful with that daycare I would choose. Do research and make sure both you and your baby's comfortable with it. You can't be too careful when it comes to you children.

Jill - posted on 11/11/2010

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I hope to keep mine home as long as I possibly can. They get plenty of exposure to other children though Bible classes at our church (2 hours on Sunday & 1 hour on Wednesday) and play dates. My children are 3 & 4 years of age.

Kristen - posted on 11/11/2010

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My son went to daycare at 4 & 1/2 months for 2 days a week and he did fabulous. We love our daycare center and now at 18 months he still loves going. He gets a big smile on his face when we pull in the parking lot. I agree with other mom's that younger is better. My mother-in-law who is a daycare provider says when they are younger it is harder on the parents - when they are older, it is harder on the kids. My friend put her 2 year old into daycare and she is having a very hard time transitioning.

EMMA - posted on 11/11/2010

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my daughter was the same she liked one particular member of staff who was very good with the kids as ive said she's in primary school in the morning class for the nursery every morning she's up at 6-30 has her breakfast then she's nagging then can we go cause she goes to breakfast club

Alexia - posted on 11/11/2010

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I agree with Rachel Izzard. I put him into nursery school when he was 12 months now he is 15 and he loves it,,,, Every morning he wakes up and he's expecting to leave house HE LOVES IT

EMMA - posted on 11/11/2010

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thats what ive said the nursery my daughter was in it was always one carer to different age groups eg 1-3 etc

Danielle - posted on 11/11/2010

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I didn't feel comfortable until my son was 2. I took no notice of people telling me I should get him used to being away from me and his family as the decision was mine to make as to when he started. At the moment, he is only doing half a day once a week and will increase to a full day once a week in the New Year. He is also with a family day care, not a childcare centre. I feel very comfortable with his carer and my daughter will start with the carer when she has weaned herself.

Visit as many child care facilities, be it a centre/family day care/etc, and go with your gut feeling. If facilities do not have an open door policy, my suggestion is scrap them off the list. Talk to the carers, talk to the parents if you can, watch the kids, see how they are in the environment. You'll know when you are comfortable and when you find a place you are comfortable with. :-)

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In a perfect world where I had more than enough cash to comfortably hold off, I would wait till my little one was about 3-4. Well, to be honest if I lived in that world they'd be with me till they started Kinda or school (but would still do playgroup, etc for the social interaction).
As is we've stretched my work as far as they'll go and I'll be going back just shy of my bubs 2nd birthday, so he'll spend 2 days with his Nan and one in family day care.
I think it's preferable to keep them at home for as long as you can, but not everyone has that luxury so I don't judge anyone who has to go back earlier.

Nicci - posted on 11/10/2010

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Adam was four months when I went back to work.He stays with a daymother and she loves him to bits.I feel very much at ease when I go drop him and even when i pick him up in the afternoon he first wanne kiss and hug his daymother.The same thing went through my head about leaving Adam with someone i don't know. Remember kids learn to love the person than looks after them.Good luck.

Melissa - posted on 11/10/2010

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Before I had my son I actually worked in daycare. I am fully certified in early childcare education and based on things that I saw in daycares, I refuse to put my son in daycare until he is old enough to talk and tell me what went on during the day. For a younger child I would recommend a day home. It means a smaller group of children for one worker and you always know who is looking after your child, nobody is changing shifts. For sure ask a lot of questions for both daycare and day home and make sure you and your son feel comfortable with whom ever will be his caregiver.

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There are MANY people that put their kids in daycare right at 6 weeks...PERSONALLY, I do not think that is healthy for a child, BUT being that I work in the infant room at a daycare, I will say that anything over 3 months is okay for under 8 hours. If it is for 8+ hours, personally, I think that you are fine at 6 months. I know that not EVERYONE that works at a daycare has my mentality, but I look at those little babies and treat them as if they were my own. I would recommend that when you choose a daycare, ask to look around and see how the kids are in the atmosphere. I have actually had parents that have told me that since I started working at the center I'm at that their child eats better, sleeps better and is happier. These are mostly babies that have been going since they were 6 weeks old and were not handled to fit their particular needs, in my opinion. Some babies THRIVE in daycare, while others don't. I have found that the ones that don't either have not been fitted with the right daycare/daycare worker. I was put in the infant room because of my nurturing behavior, which has done really well for all of the infants there. Granted, I am not there 24 hours a day, but I am there during the key hours to feed the children, help them with their exercises (whether it be learning to walk or sit up) and when they just want to sleep and don't WANT to feel like they're at daycare, I sit on the floor and play with them, rock them to sleep or whatever their particular needs are. I would ask for as much feedback as possible from the daycare workers. I like to tell the parents what I see (whether it's as big as their first steps or as small as a change in their bowel movements, which CAN be a big deal) I want to make sure that we are all on the same page. Now, as far as one particular age, it varies from child to child, parent to parent and situation to situation... I hope that helped! To add, I think that if you ONLY put your child in daycare when it gets to a certain age, it is much harder for the child. I know that some of the 2 year olds that just start have trouble with eating in a group with the kids and tend to not want to eat or do anything... They particularly don't get used to the structure of the schedule that easy. The other thing that I think is key, is to MAKE SURE that the daycare that you choose is state accredited and follows the required state guidelines. We have to fit certain criteria to even be allowed around the kids, at least in PA. All of our fingerprints are put through the FBI database, we get background and criminal checks, to be anything, but an aide we must have at least 600 hours of previously childcare experience and references reflecting that it was satisfactory. It is VERY MUCH a school atmosphere...The center that I work at is part of the T.E.A.C.H. program that promotes a degree in early childhood development or childhood education. We have to be trained in first-aid and CPR and, OF COURSE, we must have the ability to make those tough decisions that all parents dread. Before working at a daycare, I, too, was very wary, but I got educated. Now, I plan on taking my baby to work with me when he or she is born. Which, for me, is a HUGE step b/c I was always the one to quickly say, "no daycare for my kids." I just know now what I didn't know then, which is, basically, what to look for... ALSO, to ease your mind, at our daycare, if ANYONE (whether it is the director or the person that started yesterday) sees ANYONE (including their superiors) do anything that they feel is "harmful" to the child, they do a written report and an incident report, which goes to the parent. It is a way to not let ANYONE abuse their titles or position by harming a child, in ANY WAY. The state also gets notified and that person is then, (if in an abuse situation) classified as a child abuser and unable to ever work around children again. One other plus is that if someone isn't helping a certain age group with their development, they are no longer allowed to work with that age group. One other thing, which is helpful for infants, is to have the childcare provider keep track of EVERYTHING for you. For example; we track when the child had a bottle and the amount of ounces (babies are fed a bottle every 2 1/2 - 3 hours (depending on the baby and the parents), if they ate; what they ate and how much, when their diaper was changed (here, by law, it is a MINIMUM of every 2 hours, unless they had a bowel movement, then it is as soon as it happens), I also note if they had diarrhea, a diaper rash, spit up more than usual - anything that will help the parents when taking the child home. That may be helpful to you as a mom tracking what the daycare did for your child. One other thing, which is nice about it not being JUST YOU 24/7 is that we, as childcare providers, get to know the children and what is normal for them, so if there is something little that you may not have noticed b/c of being with your child so often, we tend to pick up on it quickly and are able to tell you, which makes everyone breathe easier. Once again, every situation, baby and parent is different, BUT so is every daycare so just get to know what your baby is going to be doing "routinely" and who they are going to be doing it with! :-)

Emily - posted on 11/10/2010

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Hi I went back to work when my baby was 5 weeks old but worked my shifts around her but am going back to full time day shifts from start december when she will be 4 and a bit months old and she is going to childminder and nursery full time . Lots of people may think this is too young but needs must, think its better for me as live in small town and know childcare providers . But personally I love being working mum you get best of both worlds :) Its worth all the hard work

Jessica - posted on 11/10/2010

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Well my son is only a month and three weeks old..I'm no where thinking about putting him in daycare right now.The earliest age I think I would put my son in daycare is maybe a year...if at that.

Deb - posted on 11/10/2010

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Wow, you've gotten a lot of responses so far but I'll chime in, too... DD had a nanny from 4-7 months, then started at an in-home daycare with something like 2 other kids once or twice a week. The nanny would handle the other days. There was a little separation anxiety sometimes, but the daycare lady always let me know that within 5 minutes of my leaving, DD was fine and playing with the toys and the other child. For the next 7 months, she continued going part-time and at 15 months, our nanny left and DD started going to daycare full-time. We have always been completely comfortable with our daycare provider since there are so few kids and this lady has years of experience and 2 grown children of her own. You may feel more comfortable if you find a provider with high-school or college age kids so s/he is young enough to still be energetic but old enough to have lots of experience.
The youngest I would put my next child in daycare would be 4 months if I were to use my current daycare lady again, because I trust her so completely, and maybe 6 months if I started with someone new. I would be comfortable having a nanny start at 3 months so I could return to work. Hope that helps.

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I work in daycare. In New Zealand daycares are all monitored and regulated. We're part of the education system and most teachers are qualified just like primary and secondary teachers. The centre owners may all be about the money but the teachers certainly aren't and we love those kids. I take my daughter along with me and when I have my next baby my oldest will go without me so I can spend time with the new baby. That's how much I trust them and how important I think going to daycare is for her (not just for me but there's that benefit too).
I do agree that there are some places that aren't so good. So check the qualifications, rules and regulations of the centre and go with your gut feeling but don't lump all places together. Daycare is, on the whole, a great thing for children.

And children under 3 do socialise with each other. I work with under 3s so I know. We even have some under 2s that play with the other children.

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