While daycare is sometimes seen as a lesser alternative to sole care by a child’s parents or primary caregivers, a nurturing, quality, and structured daycare environment, such as those that Montessori schools provide, can create significant positive effects for a child’s development. Montessori school’s self-directed learning and social-emotional growth can lead to greater language development, social skills, and preparedness for later school environments.
When a child enters daycare, they need to learn how to communicate with a range of individuals – other children their age, caregivers, teachers, other parents – who don’t know how to interpret your child’s wants and needs as you do. This requires your child to enhance their verbal and non-verbal communication skills and their ability to reframe their ideas and questions so they are understood. Through these incidental learning experiences, as well as focused learning activities, children who attend daycare can become positive, assertive communicators and, in a study completed by the National Institute for Health, are shown to “attain higher vocabulary scores upon entering school.”
One of the most obvious and consequential positive effects of daycare is on a child’s ability to build social connections. Children in daycare gain experience in relating to more and different children and adults and learn to negotiate their wants and needs and those of others. This can teach them invaluable social skills such as generosity, fairness, politeness, and how to help a friend. This form of intelligence is difficult to teach and is primarily attained through hands-on experiences and trial and error. In the structured and supportive daycare environment of Montessori schools, children are encouraged to lead their own learning, grow from their mistakes, and experience the value of collaboration.
Preparation for school environments
The shift to a school environment can feel abrupt and disorienting for a young child. One of the more challenging components of this can be developing the skills to cope with separation from their parents. While this can feel overwhelming to both a child and their parents, cultivating these skills at an early age in partnership with a daycare can make that first day of kindergarten a more joyful experience. Daycare can also provide a supportive first exposure to the structure children will encounter in their school-age years. They have the opportunity to learn how to participate in a schedule, how to respect and assert boundaries, and, through familiarity and comfort with a structure, gain confidence and independence as they navigate the activities and environment of their daycare. Additionally, daycare lets children practice utilizing teacher-figures as resources and supports, which can enhance a student’s learning experience at any age.
At the Montessori School of Flagstaff Westside Campus, we offer Montessori programs for children ages 3-6 years old. We understand how important it is to teach our youngest children the foundational skills they will use throughout the rest of their education and later on in life. To learn more about our Montessori programs, contact us today!