Working parents have become the norm. Gone are the days of the home maker, with women pursuing a vast array of careers even after having children. In many ways, this is a hugely positive thing, and one that has had hugely positive implications on the lives of women all throughout the country. However, it is important to note that two working parents means that a number of other logistics will need to be figured out, such as childcare for the children in question.
Fortunately, there are a great many daycare programs and early childhood facilities to be found all throughout the country. Daycare centers are vast and varied, and so it is important for parents to do their due diligence in researching these daycare centers and making sure that they meet the standards for the care that they want to provide their child or children.
For one thing, it is hugely important that the daycare centers you consider meet the standards for health and safety that have been set out by officials. If a daycare facility does not meet these standards, it cannot be assured that your child will be able to remain safe during their time there. For infant child care, this means safe sleep must be followed, especially when you consider the fact that babies spend so much time sleeping. In fact, newborns will spend the vast majority of their days sleeping, as they are doing such a vast amount of growth and development. After all, babies so young can only see a few inches in front of their eyes, and so the world is a place of mystery.
Safe handling is also a must, particularly for very young babies. It is only at the age of three months or so, after all, that babies can even hold up their heads and chests. And even then, it is only up until their forearms or while on their stomachs. Making sure that the daycare centers you look at are providing safe child care in this sense will also be a hugely important thing to keep in mind.
Daycare centers and preschools should also be working to keep kids active. After all, activity is how kids learn – and encouraging children to be regularly active from a very young age is something that will benefit them all throughout their lives, as they will be far more likely to remain active into their adult years as a result. But unfortunately, regular activity is no longer the norm for kids throughout the United States, as only around one third of all children in this country are regularly active on a daily basis.
This is largely due to the growing amount of screen time that children are being given. From cell phones to TVs to computers and tablets and beyond, screens of many kinds are truly all around us. And more and more parents and caretakers are using these screens for their children. But while technology certainly has a place, many of today’s children are very much consuming it in excess. Already, a typical child living in the United States today is likely to spend as many as seven and a half hours using a screen – and that’s just on a daily basis. This means that screen time is cutting into more imaginative and active play.
Therefore, it is important to ensure that the daycare centers you look at are promoting physical activity as much as is necessary. Ideally, children will be exercising for up to an hour a day. This is not only essential for their overall physical health, but for their cognitive development as well. Both fine and gross motor skills are actually first developed through physical and active play. When children do not get enough of this, these skills are likely to be stunted all throughout their lives, as the full development of said skills must be completed by the age of six, if not before.
At the end of the day, there are a great many qualified and excellent daycare centers out there. However, you might have to do some searching to find the one that is right for you and, even more importantly, for your child or your children.