Even if you are a stay-at-home parent or work from home, sending your child to daycare can be a rewarding experience for both parents and children. There are several benefits to private daycare, even from an early age.

1. Develop Independence

In some cases, children may have their first experience on their own when they begin kindergarten. Of course, this may be challenging for some since it is their first time away from their parents, and there are many new people and experiences. Although many children adapt quickly, there will be some who struggle with the change longer, and it might be traumatic to them. Starting daycare well before primary school can give your child time to adjust to novel situations and start gaining some independence. Some parents choose daycare for their child just for a few hours each week and may slowly increase the time as they become comfortable. By the time your child reaches half-day or full-day kindergarten, it should be a smoother transition to consistently being away from home.

2. Structured Environment

Every daycare will be different in the types of programs they offer and how the programs are structured, but it is good for young children to begin developing structure. The need for structure can include both learning objectives and social interaction. Before your child reaches kindergarten, daycare may focus on basic skills, such as writing their name and words, simple math, and reading age-appropriate books. Structured social interaction is also important, so children learn to share, follow rules, and develop manners. Once children reach kindergarten, it can be more challenging for teachers to address the needs of children who do not do well with more structured programs, since school districts frequently have benchmarks to meet throughout the year.

3. Find/Address Problems

Some children will have emotional, learning, or behavioral problems that are evident when they are young. This is the ideal time for them to enter into a program where they can have more one-on-one attention and work on these concerns. Your daycare provider may make additional recommendations if they notice especially problematic behavior, like aggression. Knowing this information in advance can help you work with your pediatrician for an accurate diagnosis and referral to specialists. Once they begin primary school, it may necessary for your child to enroll in programs geared toward children with related concerns. Intervention at an earlier stage can prevent your child from falling behind in their educational and emotional development.

Enrolling your child in daycare before they reach primary school can make the process of adjusting to new environments and social situations easier. Additionally, children with learning, behavioral, or emotional concerns may have their needs addressed at an earlier stage.