The first five years of a child’s growth are vital as that is when organs like the brain develop and other physical characteristics form. While physical growth and development during this time are critical, there is another vital area of a child’s development taking place. A child’s social and emotional development during these years affects them well into adolescence and is affected by the type of childcare that they receive during those formative years.
An increasing number of mothers are working outside of the home, placing around ten million children into daycares around the country. Spending a substantial amount of time in daycare, it is bound to have a dramatic effect on their social and emotional development.
Discovering Social And Emotional Child Development
When you think of daycare, you may think of it as the place where working moms send their kids, or where parents send their kids to get a ‘head start’ on their ABC’s and numbers. However, daycare is a place where more than learning is taking place. Pre-school aged children develop a range of emotions and develop social skills that they carry forward into childhood and adolescence.
In early childcare centers, children learn simple words and phrases; how to stack toys; and to respond to simple commands — all while developing nurturing habits. These nurturing habits require the right caregiver to be available in order for a child to develop positive social and emotional characteristics.
Does Social And Emotional Development Matter?
You may think that a child’s social development occurs later in life, but it begins in the early formative years. It comprises genetics, biological factors, and experiences. Experiences affect how a child will develop certain habits, behaviors, and how their emotions develop.
Children who are abused or neglected will develop differently than those who are not. Their bodies produce hormones to fight stress and the relationships they form result from their abuse and neglect.
Children develop relationships with other children and caregivers, which help form social skills and affect their emotional development. It is important that a child gain high quality social and emotional development early as it will affect them as they grow into adolescence.
The Number One Caregiver
For child care and development, there may be many caregivers involved, but none can replace the mother. Every child requires nurturing, and the mother is the most natural person to provide this. However, circumstances such as low income, or a single working mom, have forced many mothers to work outside of the home and place their children in daycare.
Studies show that children in low-quality daycares develop poor emotional and social skills than those at higher quality daycare centers. Lower-income families more often are served by lower-quality daycare centers. There is a direct correlation between the type of care received at a lower quality daycare center versus a higher quality center.
High-quality daycare comes from high-quality daycare workers. They are the caregivers that are well trained, highly skilled, and can offer top-level daycare. Normally, low-income families cannot afford high-quality daycare and their children suffer in social and emotional development.
When Experience Is The Teacher
Children are born with a unique genetic make-up that will affect how they grow, develop, and progress throughout life. However, the experiences they have as pre-school aged children will have a lasting effect. A child not placed in daycare will develop differently in social and emotional development.
Children have more negative developmental responses from daycare experiences than those who receive no daycare. Many negative experiences at daycare can occur resulting in aggressive behavior, conflict, and negative emotions.
Finally, the more time that a child spends in daycare can adversely affect their social and emotional development. Children that spend over ten hours weekly and children that begin daycare as an infant and continue throughout the pre-school years have more adverse social and emotional development.
What Does High-Quality Daycare Look Like?
A high-quality daycare will comprise the following characteristics:
- Safe and clean environments
- Smaller groups
- Lower child-adult ratios
- Sensitive and responsive caregivers
- Caregivers who let children express their feelings and views
- Environments and programs that stimulate cognitively
Most children are involved in some form of childcare, including churches. Every child deserves the best chance to grow and develop socially and emotionally the best that they can.
Finding a high-quality daycare center for your child is vital and will give you peace of mind as your go about working. Topdaycarecenters.com is here for you and can help connect you with a daycare center to meet your needs.