In recent years, there has been a spike in dual-career families, this in turn has increased the need for children to attend alternative care arrangements.

Parents may question the effect this will have on their child. Concerns may include attachment of the child and their social adjustment. There has been no clear study to indicate that these concerns affect every child. Nevertheless, certain factors such as age, gender, quality of care and hours spent at the center should be taken into consideration.

It has been found that children over the age of two adapt quite well to the new environment. Child care centers aid in children’s socialising skills as well as providing educational activities that may not be accessible at home. The school-like atmosphere and schedule will benefit the child once they start attending kindergarden and joining other social groups. These centers also provide the basic needs for children, try to offer high quality care and offer attention and frequent contact with the child.

Studies show that parents who have children in child care centers show reduced stress and better concentration at work. However, the hours spent at child care should be regulated, as children also need to spend enough time with their parents.

Michaela Bonello