With busy lifestyles and demanding work schedules, parents are turning to childcare centres for their little ones more than ever. However, many parents may wonder what exactly is the best age for taking their child to childcare. To help you make an informed decision, we’ll walk you through the factors to considered before choosing childcare.
When is the Best Time for Childcare?
Parents may consider childcare at three stages of their child’s early life. These are:
- Infant (0 to 2 years)
During this time infants need a fair amount of one-on-one attention, as such a childcare centre with a low baby to caregiver ratio and an adaptable curriculum is a great option. With this, carers can respond to the baby’s developmental needs quickly, while also respecting the child’s unique interests and personality.
Children who begin the Montessori program at an early age typically settle in quickly and enjoy the long-term benefits of a personalised Montessori curriculum.
TIP: In long day care settings, the infant classroom is the only age group with a guaranteed annual intake as existing children transition into older classrooms. For local areas where quality childcare is in high demand, this means that you are more likely to secure a position when you enrol your child at a younger age.
- Toddler (2 to 3 years)
Like babies, toddlers can benefit from childcare under the nurturing guidance of an early childhood professional. At this age, toddlers are active sensory explorers and require a safe environment to experiment, socialise, and move.
Many toddler curriculums lay the foundation for school readiness programs in the preschool classroom. Children are introduced to concepts of maths, language, music, and movement to engage their cognitive, academic, and physical development. Moreover, daycare centres also allow toddlers to socialise and participate in various group activities with similar aged children.
In a Montessori classroom, toddler learning goals include identifying common objects, body parts and colours, recognising numerals, speaking in sentences, use of the pincer grip (for writing and drawing), and more.
- Preschoolers (3 to 6 years)
A major benefit of choosing childcare for your preschooler is that they are introduced to primary school fundamentals (academics, grace, and courtesy) and can socially flourish ahead of big school.
Children that attend preschool often settle into primary school quicker and are able to work independently for longer periods of time. High-quality childcare will ready them for kindergarten through a school-like learning environment, respectful relationships with educators and peers, and early learning made fun.
Montessori Academy takes a progressive approach to school readiness that sings to each child’s stage of development. Knowledge and skills in Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics, Language, and Culture are nurtured on an individual level to unlock each child’s life-long love for learning,
Is your child ready for childcare?
The best time to start childcare is ultimately a personal decision that depends on your family’s situation, needs, and preferences.
Children who enrol from an early age typically settle into childcare quicker and are more likely to progress to the advanced Montessori materials in the Preschool Program (having progressively explored all curriculum areas). However, children of all ages thrive with the adaptable Montessori curriculum.
You know what’s best for your child; so, focus on their unique needs before deciding if they’re ready for childcare.