If you're a busy working parent with a preschool-age child, chances are you've considered enrolling him or her in a child care facility. Child care may enrich your little one's life, often more so than hiring a nanny, friend or relative to babysit while you work. If you need more convincing, consider the following fundamentals your child may learn when in child care:

1. Social Interaction With Peers

If you were to leave your child at home with a sitter or nanny, he or she could be missing out. Your child may not have the opportunity to socialize with other children if at home with an adult caregiver. Interacting with other children is an important part of a child's development. The environment of a child care center offers social interaction with children of the same age group.

Why is learning socialization skills important for your preschooler? Simply put, a well socialized child may be better prepared for later experiences outside of the home environment. A child who has had the opportunity to interact with other children may adjust better when it comes time to begin school.

Social interaction in child care may also help some children overcome their shyness. In addition, the child care environment may help children manage their anger or frustration, as they learn to deal with these feelings in a constructive manner. Children in daycare learn how to be considerate of other children, and often face the penalties of negative behavior through "time outs" and other consequences.

In most cases, child care involves structured activities that involve cooperation and interaction with other kids. Children in child care learn how to share toys and books and get along well with their peers. Learning social behaviors may be especially beneficial to children without siblings to relate to.

2. Reading, Counting and Comprehension

Most child care facilities employ educational tools and programs to help your preschooler learn. This may give him or her the edge in learning numbers and simple math, reading and problem solving. Matching and sequence activities may also be taught in child care. If your child's cognitive development is a concern, you should consider these academic benefits.

3. Developing Language Skills

Child care helps promote language development among young children. Having the opportunity to engage in conversation with other children may increase your child's vocabulary and heighten language skills. Activities in child care establishments often include discussions and reading aloud, and this helps your child grasp the concept of language. He or she may not receive this stimulation in the home.

4. Gross and Fine Motor Skill Development

Most child care environments offer physical activities for growing bodies. This may include playing on an outdoor playground. Opportunities to run, jump and climb will most likely be available. This is helpful for your child's balance and coordination.

Fine motor skills are are developed through the use of writing and drawing tools that encourage grasping, holding and manipulating objects. Your child may learn to color with crayons, finger paint or open a jar. In addition, learning to tie shoelaces or zip up a jacket may also help develop small motor skills.

5. Self-Reliance

Child care often places a strong focus on self-reliance. Children in child care learn how to care for themselves and become independent. As they learn skills such as washing up before eating or putting toys in their designated holding place, children gain confidence in their abilities. As your child becomes more accustomed to the routine of daycare, he or she may help newcomers learn the ropes. This can be a great confidence booster as well.

When you consider the positive influence child care may have on your preschooler, you'll want your child to reap the benefits. To learn more, schedule a tour of your chosen child care center. Take your child along to gain a "feel" for the facility and become accustomed to all it offers.