effects of daycare on child development

With all the choices you are faced with in the first few years of parenthood, it’s no wonder your role as a parent has evolved to include that of part-time researcher, discerning detective, and investigative journalist — all wrapped up into one.

Whether you are getting ready for your baby’s first day or are a seasoned parent feeling daycare guilt, learning about the long-term positive effects of daycare on child development might offer you some peace of mind.

The effects of daycare on infants, toddlers, and children have been well-researched and continue to present similar findings over many years and countries.

Studies show a positive connection between quality child development daycare programs and improved social, emotional, and cognitive growth.

However, not all daycares are created equal, and the quality of a daycare program is a vital piece of the puzzle.

Keep reading to learn more about the effects of daycare on child development and how daycare quality plays a role.

Are There Negative Effects of Daycare on Child Development?

While most research surrounding the effects of daycare on infants, toddlers, and children has been positive, there are some exceptions to the rule.

Studies have shown the potential negative effects of daycare on child development are due to low-quality daycare programs. A low-quality daycare may have insufficient resources that fail to meet each child’s social, emotional, and cognitive needs, which can be detrimental to their development.

On the contrary, when given access to a quality environment with consistent, safe, and supportive practices that meet every child’s needs, they will thrive.

Research has continued to confirm the undeniable connection between quality and child development, which is why opting for a high-quality daycare program is one of the best investments you can make in your child’s development.

Positive Effects of Daycare on Child Development

The benefits of a quality daycare outweigh the burdens by positively impacting your day-to-day life in the present along with your child’s behavior and development in the future.

The positive effects of daycare on infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children are substantial and enduring. Here are a few of the most significant ones:

Promotes Prosocial Behavior

According to research, enrollment in a high-quality daycare center can have a significant, long-lasting impact on children’s social and emotional development.

Consistent socialization and play in early childhood have been associated with higher levels of empathy, resilience, and prosocial behavior later in life.

A daycare setting provides countless opportunities for children to learn and practice their understanding of new social skills through play.

Anne Inwood, a Chicago-based LCSW and parent coach, explains how “children can learn positive social skills such as sharing, turn-taking, negotiating, and positive communication. This is provided naturally in an early childhood setting as much learning takes place through play at this age.”

In addition to play-based interactions with their peers, children can strengthen their interpersonal skills by learning from their caregivers.

Qualified providers will offer appropriate solutions for social conflicts and model prosocial behavior throughout the day so your child can observe and learn.

Supports School Readiness

Research has shown that child development daycare programs can positively impact children’s cognitive growth and school readiness.

Most daycares provide a structured day with activities specifically designed to engage the senses and stimulate cognitive growth.

Katharine Hill, an educational therapist and learning specialist in NYC, shares how daycare can support children’s pre-literacy skills and prepare them for kindergarten:

“Although children do not need to learn to read prior to attending kindergarten and first grade, the phonemic awareness, and related literacy skills that underlie reading need to be developed earlier, during the years that children typically attend daycare.”

A skills-based curriculum with individualized instruction in an early childhood setting can provide a solid foundation for later education and foster a life-long love of learning.

Increases Academic Achievement

Research has also documented the positive impact that quality daycare and early childhood programs have on children’s long-term academic success.

According to Grant Aldrich, father of two and CEO of OnlineDegree, “the early childhood education program lays the foundation for later years of schooling, even up to higher education. Studies have shown that students who attend an early childhood education program are more likely to graduate high school and attend college.”

Fosters Communication

The daycare environment also provides consistent opportunities for your child to interact with others, which means countless opportunities to observe and develop their communication skills.

From mealtime to playtime, qualified daycare providers are trained to support children’s language development through day-to-day interactions and developmentally-appropriate activities.

A childcare environment also allows children to build meaningful connections with their caregivers, which research has shown plays a significant role in strengthening communication skills.

Cultivates Confidence

There is an undeniable connection between confidence and competence, so when children feel capable and empowered by their efforts, their confidence soars.

Quality daycare programs will encourage children’s independence through various efforts, such as scaffolding, to support their competencies and capabilities.

These small successes will boost children’s belief in their ability to navigate challenges and accomplish goals with confidence today, tomorrow, and the rest of their lives.

Build Your Child’s Confidence at Cadence Education

Your child is an innately confident and capable human being bursting with potential at every turn. And your child’s environment in the first few years of life has the ability to encourage and empower them to reach that potential.

As one of the leading childcare providers in the nation, Cadence Education has been committed to cultivating confidence in every child for the last two decades.

Cadence Education prioritizes every child’s unique capabilities through a skills-based curriculum with individualized instruction designed to meet each child’s developmental needs.

With personalized care in a nurturing environment just like home, both you and your child will feel the comfort and confidence needed to pursue your potential every day.

Find a Cadence facility near you to discover what exceptional daycare and early education programs can do for you and your child. Then watch as their confidence soars, and with it, your peace of mind.