Don't feel guilty when it comes to childcare

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15:00 PM

Don't feel guilty when it comes to childcare - there are benefits for everyone

Many parents feel guilty about the idea of having their children go to childcare once their parental leave is up, or they decide it’s time to go back to work. Some research shows that up to 80% of women feel guilty having their children in childcare. Feeling nervous, or guilty when leaving your child at childcare is normal. I felt it myself when my two boys were younger. While my eldest took to childcare like a fish to water, and barely even looked back to see me. My youngest son was another matter. He had separation anxiety and would cry as I left. I felt so guilty. No matter how happy he was going to childcare, he would cry as I left. No matter that the educators told me he stopped within a few minutes of me leaving. The pang of guilty every time I left was strong.

But, I had the benefit of knowing that early childhood education plays a very important part in preparing children for school and for life. The early childhood educators I met chose to work in the sector because they love and care about children. They were wonderful! I was never in any doubt that my children were benefitting from going to child care, no matter what I felt.

It is a real quandary for parents: we drop our children off and they don’t want to stay and cry. It tears us apart. I’ve seen parents cry too, before they head to work or study feeling guilty and broken-hearted. It is perplexing then, when you come back in the afternoon to pick up your child, and they don’t want to come home because they’re having such a great time! What is going on? What am I missing? We all feel the same way.

One of the key skills your child will learn in childcare is how to be sociable. Children spend all day interacting with other children, as well as other adults, which is beneficial for social development. Learning to socialise is as important as any developmental skills a child picks up during the early years. And most importantly: children don't hold grudges. Child also live in the moment. While they are sad when a parent leaves, within a few minutes they have got over that upset and found a centre full of children and toys to play with.

Your child will grow up to self regulate. An important part of early childhood education is teaching children to self-regulate in those critical years before they start school. It’s an essential skill needed not just for school, but for life. Self?regulation skills enable children to control their behaviour, emotions and thinking; teaching children to focus their attention, be enthusiastic learners, persist in completing tasks and work in teams as well as independently. These are all essential skills needed for school. A key period in the development of self-regulation is between the ages of three and five as children expand their social world outside the family. It is beneficial if some of that social contact is made ‘outside the family’.

It may feel like your child is constantly ill from picking up bugs at childcare, but believe me, there is a benefit in the long run. Early childhood is a time when immune systems are developing, and children will become sick whether they are at childcare or not. While children who spent time in childcare before two years of age have more respiratory and ear infections, they are sick less often during primary school than children who were cared for at home.

Childcare services are a great resource and a supportive service will be your first port of call when you need some help. Creating and managing routines for your growing child can be difficult to set up. Each child is different, that you may have difficulty doing this by yourself at home. Getting your child used to daytime rests or naps, even getting the hang of potty training is easier when it's managed in conjunction with a childcare service. Early Childhood educators have years of experience developing different strategies for many daily routines. At 3 Bees ELC, we always help parents, by sharing techniques for many areas of child behaviour that can have parents tearing their hair out.

Make a visit to 3 Bees Early Learning Centre!

3 Bees Early Learning Centre is a child care centre in Oakleigh East with facilities to ensure your child is safe, secure, and happy. You and your family are welcome to tour in the centre, and you can schedule your visit by calling 03 9504 3668 or sending a message.