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Is My Toddler Ready for Daycare?

Team AckoFeb 9, 2024

Are you still wondering what age is appropriate for your toddler to start going to daycare? Will it matter if some children of his age are already in a daycare? Will he be behind socially or emotionally if I wait 3, 6 months more or a year? What a tough dilemma! It is hard when your social circle is all parenting in a certain way.



This is one of the tough decision you have to take in the first few years of your child’s life is when to send your children to daycare.

Check out: Why is daycare essential for your little one

What is the best age to start daycare for your toddler?

It can be challenging to know when is the right time to enrol your child because there is no one-size-fits-all checklist for it. Daycare starts anywhere from ages 2 to 4. Choosing the best time to participate in the group activities or put your child in care will purely depend on your kiddo’s personality as well as your family work’s schedule. There is as such no perfect age and each child will adjust to the care environment in a different way.

Groups will be stressful for a two-year-old no matter what, but some kids are more stressed than others by the noise, difficulty to express their needs to caregivers, competition for toys, the necessity of accommodating their own needs to the schedule, etc. 

Many toddlers get overwhelmed and frightened easily in groups. Sometimes the child holds it together in the group setting but as soon as the parent appears to pick him up, he bursts into tears. What does it mean? It simply means it was very hard for him to be in school during that time. However, if the child is easily comfortable in groups, then the short period will be stimulating for him and he will be able to cope with your absence. If he always asks to see other kids, then maybe the group will be good for him.

Things to remember before putting your toddler in a daycare

Consider the following questions as you go about choosing when to put your child in preschool.

Is he ready to participate in group activities?

Is your child a physically active little person who wants to take part in everything or more of an observer?

Is your child fairly independent?

Has he spent time away from you?

Does he adjust well to new and/or unfamiliar environments?

Is your child easily overwhelmed by noise and activity?

Is your child feels comfortable with new people?

There is no perfect age to enrol your kiddo in daycare as it varies for everyone. Try and relax into your decision. Your positive approach will have a great effect on your child.

Pros and Cons of Daycare

The transition from being home with you or another family member to being in a daycare setting can be tough for your child, even if the caregivers are top notch and the environment is loving and friendly. Pros and cons of daycare can help you to choose the best source of child care for you and your baby.

Pros of daycare

Here are the pros of putting your child in daycare:

Builds Social Skills

Your kid will have the opportunity to socialize with other children of his same age or other age groups. It will help him to develop important social skills such as sharing, taking turns and self-control. 


Your kid will start trusting that mom and dad will leave but they always come back. This way he will become independent and more self-reliant. 

Cognitive and Language Development

Many daycares provide exposure to the arts, music classes and academic concepts. If your kid attends centre-based daycare, he will have the exposure to a variety of experiences which helps him to perform better in cognitive and language development, as well as in pre-academic skills.

Additional Supervision

In most centres, teachers are supervised by a director and there are many families and teachers popping in and out of the classrooms, providing an extra level of safety and supervision.

Cons of putting your child in daycare

Here are the cons of putting your child in daycare:

Behavioural Problems

You cannot shield our children forever, but it is certainly discouraging to see children pick up poor habits from peers at daycare. From as early as 18 months, your child starts imitating other’s words and actions. If a child at daycare is not behaving or speaking nicely to peers and staff, or worse, showing bad behaviours, such as biting or hitting, your child may see this as a way to grab staff's attention. Other kids’ behaviour can impact your child’s day.

High Cost of quality care

There is a big difference between low quality and high-quality daycare. High-quality daycare centres are very costly.

Your Schedule

You are stuck in a meeting as the clock ticks toward the end of the day. You may have to leave work before you are ready or pay the centre hefty fines for late pick-ups as these centres have specific closing times.

Exposure to illness

Different children from different places are going to attend the daycare so your child may be exposed to more illnesses in group daycare. There is an increased risk that your child might get some unwanted illness.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only, based on industry experience and secondary sources. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a qualified expert for health or insurance-related decisions. Content is subject to change, refer to current policy wordings for specific ACKO details.



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