Parenting Information

Considering Daycare? Consider the Pros and Cons


When you're a parent it's a difficult decision to know whether to send your child to daycare or not. We have provided many of the pros and cons of sending your child to daycare for your consideration. In our opinion, nothing replaces the day-to-day interaction that you can provide with your child. We also believe that some interaction with other children either through occasional daycare, part-time, or through play-groups and other educational learning programs are invaluable. We also recognize that Mom or Dad also needs to have a break and occasional daycare can provide that for them. What we don't believe in is a baby or toddler being in someone else's care for eight hours or more a day everyday! That's not fair to your child. So with all that in mind, please consider the pros and cons listed below. And may you make the right decision for your children and yourself.

UPSIDE of Daycare:

Always more than one person available to watch, care for, supervise, and feed your child

Interaction with other children

Develop social skills at an early age

Kid's days are pretty much scheduled, routine, and consistent

Daycare centers don't call in sick

Kids receive a lot of mental stimulation

Your house stays neater (although my son can make a mess in minutes)

The kids enjoy the change of scenery and toys

Cost is less than for a nanny

English-as-second-language kids have more exposure to English

DOWNSIDES of Daycare:

Nighttime baths vs. possibly every other day

Laying out their clothes

Packing nutritious lunches vs. fast food snacks

Morning rush to get out of the house on time

Allow extra time to make the stop and drop-off

Your child screaming, "Mommy don't go!!"

The guilt and bad feelings because you're leaving them behind

Less one-on-one attention from caregivers

Potential personality conflicts at the center between parents and staff

Potential personality conflicts between the children

Ethics taught are the centers or the caregiver

Values taught are the centers or the caregiver

Possibly no ethics or values taught at all

Political influences are those at the center/school

Less bonding between parent and child

Child learns early on that you won't be there for them when they need you

You don't get to see and experience all the "firsts" that your child goes through

You can NEVER recapture those things you miss

When your child has a boo-boo you're not there to make it better

When your child is excited about what she/he has learned, you're not there at the moment they want to share it with you

When they're not feeling well you leave them to someone else to care for them

When they're sick no one will baby them like you will

More exposure to health issues: ringworm, lice, and colds/flues

You're not there to kiss away their tears

You're not there to waylay their fears

You're not there to set their wild ideas back on track

No opportunity to have a spontaneous day

No time to do "nothing at all" together

To experience the joy of holding and watching your child sleep for hours (hopefully)

You're not there to teach them to climb a tree

To explore the bugs and insects

To plant a seed and watch it grow

Playing "what do you see in the clouds"

Less time to go to the beach, woods, hiking, swimming, biking, skating, etc.

No time to just "play"

To be your kid's playmate

To experience getting to be a kid all over again with your child

Seeing and experiencing life through the eyes of your child

No time to make pancakes in the morning

No time to bake real cookies

Not there to put a band aid on the invisible oweee

Not get to see your child's imagination develop

Not get to see their personal development as much as you could

Don't get to see them beaming with pride at their BIG accomplishments

Infants and toddlers spending 6-8-10 hours a day away from Mom or Dad

The cost of daycare is an added expense: financial and emotional

When you work, at the end of your day, you just won't have the energy, patience or the time to spend with your child in the manner you should or would like to. Your job becomes the first priority and the child the second. They get what's left over if there is anything left to get. How do you like it when you are second fiddle to someone you care about and love?

Parents say, "Oh, they don't mind. He likes the babysitter a lot. He'd rather I went to work." That may be true, but chances are he's never experienced having you at home full-time to know what that is like. There can't be a comparison! Children so love unconditionally, they will put up with even the worst of circumstances and still love their parents. Because children only want to be loved, cared for and valued themselves.

Ask yourself this question: "If you chose to continue working when you have a choice not to, why did you have the children if you didn't want to raise them yourself? I know some people truly don't have a choice. But many choose to continue working even though they could make do on one salary or move to an area where they could manage financially. Our society has become so accustomed to having two incomes; we no longer think we have a choice not to work. Imagine this, in one year; if you spent five dollars less per day you will save $1825. That's one less cup of special coffee per day. If you spend ten dollars less per day, you will save $3650 per year. How much do you spend per day on lunches in your family? A large delivered pizza can easily run close to $20. One fast food meal for a family of four could easily be close to $25 or more. Where could you save money? The question is, are you willing to for the sake of your kids?

Add up all the possible costs of day care and compare to the costs and benefits of working. The most important cost of all to consider is that special time spent with your children. What is the cost to them? In a recent interview of Jane Fonda with 60 Minutes', Lesley Stahl, Fonda said, "I was not a good mother. And then, you end up paying for it later."

According to 60 Minutes, Jane created a school program to persuade teenage girls not to get pregnant, and to teach girls who are pregnant how to be better mothers. She created this program because of the mistakes she's made in her own life, and because of the mistakes her parents made raising her.

"If you don't have a parent or an adult, a teacher or a mentor ? really see you, really love you, 'Yes, there are things you do I don't like, but you're fantastic, you're good enough. I love you.' If that never happens to a child, the child assumes it's her fault and tries to compensate for it," says Fonda.

Don't make the mistakes you have experienced or you have seen others experience just because you don't look far enough ahead. Look at the bigger picture, look ahead ten years or so and imagine what life will be like with your children later on.

I say this, "If you don't have time for your children when they're young, they won't have time for you when you're old."

Copyright 2005 Eln Albert

Best known for her expertise in Interpersonal Communications, Eln Albert works with those that want to be at their best when influencing others. Eln is a Professional Speaker and Author.

For more information on how to be the best influencer as a parent or a boss go to http://www.ElnAlbert.com. Check out other articles by Ms. Albert and subscribe to get her free "The Magic of Influence" e-newsletter. In addition, she also offers free teleseminars and free team building exercises.

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