Advantages/disadvantages of daycare for a 1 year old?

Sammy - posted on 02/01/2010 ( 17 moms have responded )

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I go back to work part time when my daughter is 1, I really don't want her to go to daycare, but hubby wants her to! I would prefer to have my mum watch her one day and my aunt watch her the other two days.

I would like to hear any good or bad personal experiences please?

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Robyn - posted on 02/01/2010

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My soon to be one year old will be joining his 3yr old brother at daycare next month. I too had reservations before sending my first off to daycare but when I weighed all the options daycare was right for us. The reasons we chose daycare over home care or even family members watching were - (1) the socialization aspect (2) daycare do alot of activities that you would not ever do at home (playing with water, cars in flour, body painting, circle time, etc), (3) don't have to worry if your primary care giver is ill, becuase they have supply staff (4) you can take your vacations when you want too, not when your primary caregiver does, (5) your children learn to "speak up" (won't be shy, more comforatable with change/new surroundings, (6) routine - eat sleep and play at same time each day.

On the downside, in the beginning daycare kids do get sick alot, but in the end it will be better for thier immune system - that's at least what I tell myself - lol. And the biggest downfall is the cost!!

Whatever you choose will be right for you, but do give daycare a shot - once your daughter gets through the first week or so, she will enjoy herself and so will you. Keep the aunts and grandmas for date nights with hubby!!

Ana - posted on 02/01/2010

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i work in child care and in my opinion child care for children under two is a necessary evil. there is nothing your child can gain from child care at this age. it is necessary to have this service because parents need to go back to work but until your child is old enough to need to gain social skill they obtain from being in a classroom i would try to keep you child with you or at least small group (a person to keep him/her at home with a couple of children). at this age they need love and security not a classroom full of toddlers where one-on-one attention is almost impossible.

Whitney - posted on 02/01/2010

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I have done it both ways. Good things about daycare...

they usually have a school-like time (getting read to, etc)

they get to interact with other kids

they usually will listen to your concerns (to ease worries)

you child will start to be more independent (in a good way)

they learn sharing and patience (ie, another child taking toys away)

Negitive things

they have a tendency to get sick more often depending on the size of school and how it is ran

My boys had to be in daycare when I was a single mom. They really enjoyed the daycare. The daycare they went to only had 10 kids and the did preschool twice a week. The boys really loved it. They were also watched at a friends house for a time, but they really seemed to enjoy daycare better. My only advice would be try to find a small one. I hope that helps and good luck.

Karen - posted on 02/01/2010

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My oldest 2 children were in daycare while I worked. I started my 8 yr old in daycare when he was 16 mos and he remained there until he went to kindergarten and my second child was only in daycare for @ a year he started right after my maternity leave ended at age 3 mos. When I had my 3rd child we decided I would stay home mainly because daycare was too expensive. I def think you need to research many places, The advantage is your baby will get to socialize w/other children, be in a structured setting, be on a set schedule, there are many advantages. However, my children were always sick, not in the comfort of their own home/bed, and although routine I believe is essential they were always on a time boundary. They don't get a lot of one-on-one w/the teachers and it can be expensive. Unfortunately, I probably didn't help much but I think there is a lot of negative connotations about daycare that aren't altogether true, it can be a great experience. My children loved their teachers and got to do a lot of wonderful things.

Becca - posted on 02/01/2010

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As a daycare teacher I know how important consistency is to a child and a daycare may be better able to offer this for your child if you are planning to bounce her from Grandma's to Auntie's to Home. They also offer the opportunity for socialization but this is more relevant for older children, as babies just play side by side without actually intereacting until around the age of three. You will want to be certian that you are very comfortable with the staff, schedule, rules and structure of the daycare if you do go this route and I would make a point to randomly drop or peek in for the first few weeks (if it upsets your child to do this try to sneak peeks without being seen by her) that way you will be able to better assess if they are treating your child well at all times or if it is only when you are around that they put on a pretty face. Most daycares are government regulated so also do your homework: check to see if they have a good record or if there have been problems reported, ask to see playground matinence records and inquire about the rate of staff turn over. If they have a high staff turnover ask why. This can be an indicator that all is not well.



Having family watch your child has advantages too. Daycare cannot offer as much one-on-one time as a family member could and if your child is familiar with the family members in question she may have an easier time adjusting to you being away. Family may also be more flexible, less expensive (or free if you are that lucky) and will be more likely to use the schedule that you have already established rather than an artificial one that is designed around the daycare's convience. As I alluded to above it is better if Grandma or Auntie come to your home rather than sending your child to them as this will allow for more consistency. If you are going to have family watch your child, make sure they know your home routine (write it down and post in in the house) and that everybody stick to it so that even if the caregiver changes your child still knows what to expect day to day. Children at one tell time based on routine so it's important that things are consistent.



Finally, if you are going to be part-time, make sure that it is the same three days of the week every week, that you are working the same time each of those days, and that Grandma and her Aunt are watching her on the same days each week as well, so that your daughter can predict when you will be gone and who will be with her. If your work schedule is variable it can be very confusing for her and cause a lot of stress/anxiety, leading to problems with seperation anxiety and difficulty settling with the caregiver. Regardless of which route of childcare you choose make sure you establish a short good-bye routine (5-10min) and then leave. It is not a good idea to engage your child in an activity and then sneak away or to drag out your good-bye as this can actually increase the difficulty that you have with your child when you leave. Most children if they cry when the parent leaves will settle with in the first five minutes and if the parent is consistent with their good-bye routine most will learn to transition without tears within a week or two.



Whatever you choose make sure you are comfortable with your choice and remember that if you are not happy with the result you can always change your mind and try the other option.



Good luck and I hope that helps.

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17 Comments

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Nora - posted on 09/19/2013

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my baby gal is one year and 9 months but i have had the worst experience with baby sitters so i opted for day care but my biggest challenge is with the constant flu and cough which some times results to malaria. so we basically have to be in the hospital all the time. any precautions on how to avoid the infections?

Nicole - posted on 10/11/2011

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My daughter started going to a babysitter when she was 2 months old. We just bought our own business so I needed to get into the office and do some work. She loves going to the babysitter. She goes 3 days a week and the other 2 are at home with me. She has never been shy with anyone, learns alot at the babysitters and even asks to go on days she's at home with me. She likes having somewhere else to go and I find has learned so much from the babysitter and from the other kids.

Andie - posted on 10/11/2011

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compromise 2 days at day care and let your mum watch 1 day! this way she gets the best of both worlds!!

Emilie - posted on 02/01/2010

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I started my daughter in daycare when she was 9 months, she was fine in the infant room, but when she turned 1 they moved her to the 1-2 year old room, her and another boy did not get along, they was always fighting over a little couch. This little boy had some problems and he was in foster care, he did not know how to get along with others, so when they was both wanting the couch he would alway attack her, like pull her hair, hit her bite her and such. The daycare teacher I guess she didn't really know much about how to keep this from happening. I do believe that it could have been prevented, my daughter was getting attacked by this little boy everyday almost, I eventually took her out because I couldn't handle my daughter getting hurt like that, sometimes she would come home with bite marks all over (5 or 6 marks) or her face head arms feet. I found out later that the teacher in that room was moved to the 4 year old room because she was getting a lot of complaints.

Theresa - posted on 02/01/2010

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There are advantages both ways and probably draw backs too. Day care: She would have other kids to interact with. Family: They will probably be OK keeping her even if she is sick, and she won't be around other kids catching colds and such.

Andria - posted on 02/01/2010

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I believe you should have her in daycare. I was so scared about putting my daughter in daycare. I thought nobody could do it like I can. Well she has been in daycare cents september. I can tell you that she loves it to death. She knows what days we go to daycare and what days we dont. She can tell when she should be at daycare but isnt because Im sick or she is sick. I was really agenst daycare and thought my sister can watch her when I need her to be watched. Well the thing is that interaction with other kids your daughters age or close too it is great for her. She needs the interaction. At first it will be hard but she will love it. Now when we go to the store and she sees a kid she gets so crazy happy. She loves to be around other kids and loves to go to daycare.
When and if you do go pick out a daycare, dont be afraid to ask any questions you have. let them know that your nervouse about your daughter being there. Visit the daycare a few times before your daughter goes. Most important trust your gut. If you dont feel comfortable with the daycare then dont go with that daycare. Also ask other moms and dads that have children that go to the daycare. Get there opinion and ask them questions. I promise your daughter will love it. Good luck!!!

Valerie - posted on 02/01/2010

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I had a really hard time making this decision as well but I had to go back to work after she was only 8 weeks old. We had no one who was able to watch her for us so we researched day care centers in the area and finally found one which came with several glowing recommendations and let me tell you, we are GLAD we have our daughter in day care! As much as my husband and I love to spend time with her, there is no way she would be as smart as she is now! She knew her alphabet, numbers, colors, writing etc much faster by having that consistent attention at day care. I've noticed a big difference between her and other kids her age who stay at home with parents and relatives. Yes she got sick much more frequently in her first year but now rarely gets sick at 4 yrs old. The other kids who were not exposed to this are now getting sick and missing a lot of school as a result. She also gets great balanced meals for breakfast and lunch plus snacks which I'm not sure would always happen at a family members house. I still wish I could stay at home with her more but at least I know she's got a good head start in her learning and will have an easier time transitioning to kindergarten. I also know she's not at home watching TV all day...:) My suggestion would be to enroll in an actual day care with learning curriculum (even if its just part time) and avoid the home based sitters who don't really work with the kids or teach them anything. Hope this helps...

[deleted account]

I think it really depends on the nature of your child. My 2 1/2 year old started daycare last september. he hated it! he is, by nature, a kinesthetic learner and i believe the structure of daycare didn't work for him. to top it of he's also a homebody and grows attached to certain people. the daycare worker he grew attached to left everyday at 3 and he went through a little crisis everyday.
Happily, we found a homecare that works for him and his younger sister. It fits with who he is. Maybe when he goes to school next year we'll try the daycare again with my daughter, but we'll see...
That might work -- one or two days of daycare and then family the other day(s)??

Sneaky - posted on 02/01/2010

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I started my little one in day care one day a week when she was eight months old (didn't have any choice because we have no family support) and she LOVES it. I am not saying it wasn't hard - I missed her terribly and she was unhappy for the first few weeks, but as she got more familiar with her carers she just started getting happier and happier every week. Now that she is one of the older babies in the nursery (18 months) she loves playing with the other big babies and helping the carers there look after the little babies :o) I have noticed too that her speech, gross motor skills (walking, running, climbing) and fine motor skills (feeding herself, holding a pencil) are developing at a much faster rate than they did for her big sister who was never in daycare - I do not know if that is from exposure to more children her age or if she is just naturally a fast developer :o)

The only downside I have really noticed is that her immune system is getting a good work out! Every eight weeks or so she brings home another cold to share with me :o) There are a few reasons this does not bother me: first off her older sister is in pre-school at the same center and brings home the same colds anyway and secondly both her dr and the toddler books I have read say that all children go through this phase of a few months (up to a year) when they are first exposed to a lot of kids and their immune system needs to develop to get stronger. Personally I would rather she go through that stage now when it is not such a hassle for me to keep her out of day care for a day if she is sick, than to have her go through that stage in a few years when she starts school and I will be going back to work.

You could always try a compromise with your hubby and have bub with your mum one day, aunt another day and in day care one day a week to see how it goes?

[deleted account]

i am stuck in the same situation as you. I have a 7 year old and we held of daycare until she was nearly 4. She went to playgroup every week though so she had the other child interaction.

My son now is 19 months and i am struggling about daycare. If i should or should not. I am at uni, at tafe and also working and my partner studys and works as well so we are always constantly jugging. IT is getting a bit to much and i am concerned since my son didnt have the benefit of playgroup as my daughter did (we took him one, and he had a major fall and had an impact seizure so it turned us off taking him), that its going to impact on him in the long run.

I am trying to type out the reasons why i want to send him but every time i do i find a better way i can achieve the outcome for him. One of my main reasons is social interaction: I can achieve this by going to playgroup..... So i think i have talked myself out of it ... lol

Not much help for you though... sorry

Laura - posted on 02/01/2010

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I have only had great experiences with the daycare we use. Its important to do research, ask word of mouth and get a feel for any daycare you end up choosing. They should make you feel welcomed to call or stop in at anytime, have open conversations with you about you child, be clean and care about your child.



My youngest began daycare at 4mos, and she has pretty much had the same four teachers the whole time (she's 3 now). They are supportive of me and my two girls, and even helped when I had parenting questions. They have been affectionate with my girls (giving hugs mostly) which all kids deserve. They get social interaction with others their ages (which is important), but they also get sick because of the other kids too, so be prepared but not worried.



I was joking with a coworker today that she shouldn't ask me any potty training tricks since the daycare pretty much did it for me. Ideally, they should be as helpful as a family member would be...



On the other side...having family watch her would be cheaper...lol

Aileesha - posted on 02/01/2010

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I completely understand about not wanting to put the baby in daycare but let me tell you daycare is not only a great way for your little girl to have fun and learn to get along well with others her motor skills will be better and she wont be a tv baby stuck in the house all day waiting for you to come home. I do think your hubby is right and I give him a high five for speaking up and being apart. Before you shoot down the idea I say give daycare a chance I have 3 kids and when it was time to go back to work they all went to daycare!

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