Kids & Company Blog

The Benefits of Socialization: Child Care and Playgroups

One of the most important issues that parents consider after the birth of their baby is whether to go back to work and if they choose to do so, how should they prepare their family for this. Does one parent stay home? Do they hire a nanny? Do they send the baby to a child care centre? Do they send the baby to an in-home child care centre?

If you decide to stay home or hire a nanny, I feel that it’s very important to ensure that your child has socialization throughout the week. With most of our children, we did a mix of nanny care and child care. Our kids loved being at a child care centre! It's so much more exciting and stimulating then being with the same person day in and day out (even if that person is me!) .   It is important for them to interact with other children close to their age and other adults too. This will help reduce strange anxiety since the baby will be used to seeing and trusting other people.

In-home childcare can be a good option, though it’s important to choose carefully.   In-home child care may be less expensive that full service child care centres; this is often because there is only one caregiver.   This small environment may result in less interaction with others. In home centres are allowed a maximum of five children.  Be sure you do lots of research and visit in-home centres at different times of the day to see if it matches your child’s schedule and offers age appropriate stimulation before you go that route.

One enormous benefit of a full child care centre is that there are many children, many caregivers, many programs and many age groups. For example if your 17 month old infant seems to be bored in the infant room, they can visit in the toddler room and may be much happier there.   Every child develops at different rates.   Some children are ready sooner or later than others for the next phase of playing and learning.  A child care centre has the ability to adjust classrooms and programming for each child’s specific needs.

If you decide to stay home, it’s a great idea to have  your children involved in play groups or even part-time child care. At Kids & Company, we've recently started Kidco+ with parenting centre drop-in playtimes. This allows parents who aren't quite ready for child care to meet once a week in our centres and have their children play and interact. This can also ease the children into child care.  If a family decides to use one of our centres, the children will recognize the teachers, programs, children and toys and equipment. If you’d like to learn more about our Parenting Centre drop in programs, please click here.