Monday, January 9, 2012

Child Care and Developing Essential Skills

Child care is always a difficult decision for many parents. More often than not, it's probably the first time parents have allowed their little one out of their sight for such an extended period of time with people that they are not intimately familiar with. Their babysitters so far have likely either been other family members or close friends that they trust. Still, "early childhood education," as it has come to be alternatively called, has become an increasingly popular option among parents in the U.S., and is now considered the norm.

Part of this can no doubt be attributed to some of the factors associated with the educational aspects of child care (as its other moniker indicates). With the advances in both childhood and educational psychology in the past half-century, both parents and doctors alike now recognize how essential and formative the first few years of a human's life are to their social skills, morality, discipline, and ability to absorb and utilize new information. For this reason, child care is now thought more of as a pre-school type educational experience than simply a place to leave a kid to be babysat while their parents are away at work.

Whereas leaving your kid at home with just a babysitter or au-pair is perfectly fine, it does not place the boy or girl in a social setting in which he or she comes into contact with people his or her own age; and there have thus been concerns about social development among kids who are left at home rather than encouraged to branch out. They may have trouble finding friends or various social circles later in life because it was not a skill they learned at an early age. Further, we must remember that the caretakers are professionally trained. In addition to being able to perform all first-aid measures and being CPR-certified, many of them are trained in early-age education. In fact, one of the first and most important skills taught to kids while they are at child care is learning elementary reading skills-from learning the alphabet to sounding out their first words on their own.

There is also, of course, plenty of recess time for kids to get out and stretch their legs. This aspect has been especially important as of late when we consider the decline of exercise among young kids in recent years. Encouraging kids to explore the playground and run around will increase the chances of those kids deciding to go outside and play soccer instead of staying inside and playing soccer on a video game as they grow up. Child care is an affordable and dependable service that can help parents' little ones develop crucial skills and learn valuable lessons that they will practice to their benefit as they continue to maturate.


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