The Benefits of More Childcare Days
For many parents, the number of child care days their children are signed up for is predetermined by factors such as work schedules, weekly routines, budgets and other siblings. For others, it’s a big decision that can bring on a lot of umm-ing and ahh-ing.
If your little one has never attended child care before, your first thought might be an ‘ease them into it’ approach, starting with 1-2 days then working up to more as they adapt and settle in to life at Eden Academy. To the surprise of many carers, this approach can actually be more of a hindrance than help, often extending the acclimatisation phase to many exhausting months.
Here are just a few of the benefits our Eden educators observe when new members join us for more than 2-day per week from the get go…
Familiarity can kick in
One week is a long time in a little mind. If you can cast your mind way waaaay back to your own childhood, you may remember how different your perception of time was. A month’s worth of fun could be had during ‘big lunch’ and a two-week school holiday break felt like an eternity had gone by. In toddler time, a 3-6 day break between child care visits has often wiped all familiarity, making each drop off feel like a venture into the unknown. For the Eden setting to feel comfortable, safe and homely, regular visits without extended gaps between are needed.
A concept that applies as much in the adult world as it does in the playground of kids, friendships develop better with frequent encounters. With large voids of time between each session, your child may not even remember the names and faces of those they played with, far less their characteristics, likes and dislikes. With regular child care days, their bonds will form quickly and the skills required to make meaningful friendships will evolve rapidly, ready to see them through a life of happy socialising.
Learning and inspiration increases
Even the most attentive parents have distractions and low points. Days when they find themselves asking, could the clothes have reached the line without a little assistance from Peppa Pig? Would those bills have been paid on time without the chirpy chat of Bluey? For one person to satisfy the dynamic mind of a toddler 7-days a week is a huge – if not impossible – task. Child care is an opportunity to pass the baton momentarily and let someone else step in assist. With regular trips to Eden Academy, their imaginations will be satisfied and their learning will increase. Like the old saying of absence makes the heart grow fonder, your days together will be all the more sweet and playful when a few days of child care are spliced in between.
Separation anxiety slips away
Not many children can slide into child care without a period of separation anxiety, particularly if they’ve had the luxury of attentive parenting in the months or years prior. By attending child care just one or two days per week, feelings of confusion and abandonment often continue with every visit for many months, rather than disappearing after a week or two when it’s understood that visits are a regular part of life. By subscribing to a schedule of 3 or more visits, Eden will quickly become an enjoyable part of life that incites far more joy than anxiety.
Routine is enhanced
Studies show that even for an adult it takes at least a month to form a habit, to create a pattern of behaviour that feels normal and good and easy. Use exercise as an adult analogy for how this might apply to your child’s new child care routine: If you start going to the gym just once a week, you are unlikely to feel truly connected to the habit or notice any benefits. It will carry on feeling unfamiliar and strange for many months. Chances are you will feel out of place and physically unsure, and the likelihood of giving up is very high. When going a few times a week, your routine will rapidly form and solidify, initial discomfort will dissipate quickly and exercise will become a routine part of life. The very same theory applies for kids and their child care routine, the habit is best enhanced by regular visits and other elements of daily life will become more habitual. Get ready to say goodbye to toothbrush tantrums!
Pain is eased for the parents
Even if you’ve spent many hours fantasising about that very foreign, beautiful concept of alone time, its materialisation may not be as expected. Many primary care-givers report feeling emptiness and anxiety when handing their children into the responsibility of strangers, often fuelled by the distress of the initial drop-offs. With regular visits to Eden, both the carer and little one will get the chance to settle in quickly to the new schedule, with both sides swapping tears for cheers in just a couple of weeks. It may be hard to imagine in the initial teething weeks, but child care days can be a blessing for the entire family. A chance to step away, recharge and return an even better carer.