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Babies bring both joy and responsibility with them. While on paternity or maternity leave, many parents do everything they can to enjoy this time at home. Some parents can keep their baby home for extended periods of time while others must head back to work as soon as even 6 weeks. Let’s look at that important question, “What is the best age for children to start in a daycare?”

15 Month Old Baby at Daycare

Best Age for Daycare

The truth for some families is that there really isn’t an option but to go back to work once maternity or paternity leave is over. There are pros and cons for each age level. In the end, you need to do your research and make the decision that is best for your family’s situation.

Most pediatricians agree that the optimal minimal age for full-time daycare is at 12 months because your baby’s immune system will have built up some tolerance by this point. By 12 months old your baby will have also worked toward reaching many milestones, such as using a cup for drinking, saying some simple words to communicate needs/ wants, pointing, and standing. These life skills and stronger immunity can help prepare your child.

6-month-old babies may show signs of strength in behaviors due to early socialization as they will spend time in an environment where space is shared with other children. Studies have proven that children in daycare settings have increased cognitive and language skills as compared to those children who have a babysitter or nanny. These life skills can also help lead to an easier transition into preschool and/ or kindergarten.

The minimum age to start daycare for some facilities include infants, 6 weeks and older. As immune systems are still new, babies these young tend to be sick more at an earlier age but less sick as they grow.  Being exposed to germs at an early age starts to build the immune system. Often, preventable diseases are spread in daycares. Be prepared for some sick day time off work if this is when you need to start your baby in daycare but know that the transition into preschool or kindergarten should be a bit easier.

Three years old is a difficult age to transition into a new setting. At 3, emotions such as anxiety and depression may become present as a result of the change. Children do need time to both bond with parents as well as new teachers and peers. It takes time to adjust to new environments.

Stepping Stones Early Childhood Education Center

Stepping Stones Child Care has programs for infants, toddlers, preschool, and a transitional kindergarten for children who have birthdays that miss the cut off or need another year of development before being ready. We also offer before and after school care with school age activities.

We gladly serve our neighbors in The Woodlands metropolitan Area outside of Houston, TX. Contact us for more information today!

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