For children in America under the age of five, 23.4% are in daycares, nurseries, or preschools. About 75% of all children will participate in some preschool program at some point, and a survey done in 2015 showed that 87% of 5-year-olds were taking part in a preprimary program. Whether to do day care for young children has always been a hard choice for parents to make, but there are really good reasons that day care for young children sets them up for success in life.

Long-Running Studies Show Consistent Benefits

A recent study by the U.S. National Institutes of Health followed a group of children as they progressed through life. The study began in 1990, and in 2010 findings showed that those enrolled in day care for young children were less likely to act out later and had higher scores on academic and intelligence tests. The effects were slight but consistent.

Preschool Options Are Especially Important for At-Risk Children

When it comes to at-risk children, day care for young children has a very profound effect. For at-risk youth, 70% were more likely to be arrested for a violent crime, 60% were less likely to go to college, and 25% were more likely drop out of high school if they did not take part in a quality preschool program.

Preschool Teaches Valuable Relational Skills

We’ve all heard of the importance of Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ) and how it is just as valuable as the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) in predicting success in life or work. One of the greatest benefits of preschool is the chance for children to spend time with peers and with other adults from a young age. This helps them learn to solve problems, share, learn and work together, deal with an opposing opinion, and understand diversity.

Day Care for Young Children Is Good for the Family

One reason many families avoid day care is the belief that it will be too expensive for the family. In reality, it brings both economic and social benefit to everyone. Parents realize that their time with children is shorter each day, so their interactions become far more focused and meaningful, resulting in a better parent/child relationship. Day care also frees up both spouses to go to work, and the income lost to pay for a day care program is more than repaid by having an extra income. This doesn’t even account for the psychological benefits that the adults receive from the satisfaction of being able to earn a living.

There are other ways that putting your child in day care can help your whole family to thrive, but at the least you know it can free you up to work and increase the value of your time with your child. Daycare activities also set them up for academic and social success later in life. Look into preschool programs near you and find the one that is best for your child and for you.

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