How Does Day Care Affect A Child’s Development?
Sending your child to day care is an important milestone for any parent and, understandably, a daunting one. Aside from the typical factors involved in the decision-making process, such as time and money, you also want what is best for your child’s development and welfare.
Research shows the influence early childcare has on young children’s social, emotional, physical, and
cognitive abilities. Sources such as developmental psychology studies state the lasting impact this
stage of life has on a child’s future development and the importance of ensuring a high quality of
Understanding what factors account for high quality versus low-quality care is the key to making the
best decision on where to enrol your child. This post explores seven signs of high-quality childcare
and the positive long-term effects they provide.
7 Signs of High-Quality Childcare
There are a few different types of childcare, such as Centre Based Care, Family Child Care and Home-
based Care. However, most research focuses on services provided by Centre Based care services and
their associated effects on children’s development. Childcare centres with qualified professionals
can guide children’s development using proven methods. Here are the seven signs that a childcare
centre provides high-quality childcare.
1. Promotes routine and schedule
Children work best with some form of daily routine, which helps them feel more comfortable
performing everyday activities like getting dressed, bathing, mealtimes, and sleeping. Setting a
schedule enables your child to feel more comfortable to perform these routines on their own and
gives them the confidence to learn and maintain new habits where necessary.
Childcare helps your child get used to an ongoing routine over time. Qualified childcare providers
know the most effective ways of developing structure into your child’s life using well-established
techniques. Consistency is crucial to ensuring your child adjusts to a new environment, such as
school. They should get used to the routines set by their childcare centre over time. Children who
become familiar with adopting a schedule tend to settle more easily into primary school and co-
operate better with the changes.
2. Develops literacy and numeracy skills
A study on Australia’s Year 3 nationwide NAPLAN assessments highlights that children who attended preschool programs lead by educators with formal qualifications showed the most promising literacy and numeracy results.
Children learn to read, write, and count at different paces but starting early sets the foundation for
more effective skill retention in the future. Childcare centres that provide quality care understand
that children gain literacy and numeracy skills from many other means than set reading, writing, and
Activities such as story time, show and tell, drawing, and playtime with other children will help
improve your child’s comfort and ability with these skills over time. Music, supermarket roleplay, making patterns, and measuring items are all practical and engaging ways of getting children familiar with numbers and counting. Childcare professionals have experience in guiding young children through these activities in an educational way.
3. Improve social skills
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Study of Early Child Care and Youth
Development has found links between quality of care and cognitive and social development during
the early years of life. It also noted that “children who receive higher quality care show slightly more positive outcomes than those in lower-quality care”.
Young children who have exposure to other children their age usually find interacting with larger
groups easier once they reach primary school. In childcare centres, childcare providers can monitor
social interactions and help your child communicate more effectively and make friends. The ongoing
development and improvement of children’s social skills improve their relationships with other
children and adults. Childcare providers are trained to understand different personalities and find
the best ways to help them mesh with others in a safe environment.
4. Drive a love of learning
Early Childhood Australia (ECA) CEO Samantha Page said that attending quality pre-school programs run by qualified providers “sets children up for a lifelong love of learning…”. High-quality childcare centres recognise the importance of making early childhood education an enjoyable experience. A report by the NSW Government’s Centre for Education Statistics also emphasises that high quality childcare is directly related to the positive effects of childhood education programs.
Introducing children to the process of learning in day care gives them a head start for primary school
and encourages a healthy relationship with acquiring new skills. Providers ensure your child is in a
safe and supportive environment that allows them to develop at their own pace. They also guide
children to explore new concepts and experiences which drive an independent nature and further
interest in learning.
5. Eases transition to primary school
Furthering her endorsement of pre-school education, Ms Page also noted that such programs help
ease children’s transition into primary school. Childcare centres with a high quality of care provide
resources and experiences which get your child ‘school ready’. These include social and cognitive
development, and the ability to follow direction and stick to a set structure.
Qualified childcare professionals empower children to ask questions, problem-solve, and have a
healthy curiosity that sparks positive learning experiences in the long term. They also follow
Australian Government guidelines such as the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), which help to support and nurture young children from their early years through to school age.
6. Balances learning and play
Recent studies show that play-based programs benefit children’s literacy skills through the usage of complex language and learning processes. High-quality day cares encourage the use of play-based learning and understand its ability to progress your child’s development.
Providers incorporate play-based learning by providing children with activities that promote creative
problem solving and expression. Children find play-based activities more fun than traditional pen-
and-paper learning activities, encouraging them to continue the learning journey. Developing your
child’s natural curiosity during early childhood helps them to transition into a primary school
learning environment when the time comes as they become more comfortable with the process.
They will also be more adept at overcoming challenges and adapting to new concepts in the
7. Broadens cultural experiences
With one in four Australians being born overseas, your child must learn to celebrate and embrace
our diverse community. The EYLF is underpinned by three main themes – belonging, being,
and becoming. The theme of belonging helps children to understand who they are on a personal
level and within their family, culture, and community. The framework recognises that belonging
forms the basis of being and becoming as it “shapes who children are and who they can become”.
High-quality care providers refer closely to the EYLF by encouraging a respect for diversity and
acknowledging different cultures, languages, traditions, and lifestyle choices. They allow your child
to be comfortable with their cultural identity and embrace the diversity of others. Children who
share a range of different cultural experiences and interactions with other children are better
equipped for building friendships in primary school and beyond as they have a broader
understanding of others.
Day care can affect children’s development very positively if a high quality of care is provided.
Qualified professionals know that children different at different paces and will guide your child at a
comfortable but encouraging pace. Research shows that early childhood education is proven to give
your child a head start for when they start primary school. It gives them the skills to follow a routine,
develop literacy and numeracy skills, and build social confidence.
Children that attend pre-school programs are likely to develop an early love of learning, guided by
play-based activities. They will also engage better with other children through exposure to cultural
diversity. By understanding the listed signs of what makes a high-quality childcare centre, you can
decide where to enrol your child with more confidence.
Looking for a high-quality childcare service for your child? Reggio Academy boasts state-of-the-art
facilities and an innovative approach to learning and care. Learn more about us or get in touch today.