Two bodies of research are beginning to intersect. One highlights the benefits of childcare on the emotional, social and cognitive development of children. The other on the synergistic advantages of interactions between the very young and the older members of society. In the ensuing dialogue, we find ourselves asking: What truly serves the best interests of our children?
As we explore the topic further, we will emphasise the comparative aspects of daycare vs. grandparents. We’ll uncover fascinating insights that might change how we perceive the ideal nurturing environment for our young ones. Note, however, that this conversation is not just about choosing sides but also about understanding the varied dimensions of childcare benefits in today's diverse world.
What are the benefits of childcare?
Childcare is positively correlated to better cognitive, emotional and social skills. A study conducted by researchers from the London School of Economics and Oxford University found that children benefited from the stimulus offered in external environments. Activities such as painting, singing songs, interacting with new children and adults and even using scissors were found to impact them positively.
Children who attended a daycare facility were said to experience a 10 per cent positive impact on everyday skills. This impact was only boosted by more significant amounts of time spent in that environment.
Oxford University researcher Laurence Roope, who co-wrote the paper, told The Telegraph the key to better development lay in greater interactivity.
"It should give parents some reassurance that nurseries are not going to harm their children and are likely to be beneficial," he said.
"It seems that what is important is engaging in interactive activities."
For more on the cognitive benefits of childcare, read through one of our recent blog posts.
What about grandma care?
Grandparents have always played a key role in family dynamics, and their involvement in their grandchildren's lives is undeniably significant. This is especially apparent in the daycare vs grandma care dialogue, where the childcare benefits of having grandparents involved are clearly exhibited.
Research shows that when parents and grandparents get along well, the positive effects cascade to both the parents and the children. The so-called "co-parenting" relationship, where grandparents share the responsibility of child care and upbringing, has been linked with several benefits:
- Mothers with strong co-parenting relationships with grandparents tend to feel more effective in their role as a parent. Consequently, their children also tend to be more socially competent six months later.
- Parent-grandparent co-parenting influences children's development, particularly in their ability to regulate their responses to different situations. This regulation, also known as "effortful control," plays a role in children's social-emotional well-being.
- Families with better mother-grandparent co-parenting relationships tend to have fewer marital conflicts and, in turn, more positive parent-child relationships.
- Parents with more open communication patterns tend to have more cooperative co-parenting relationships.
These studies suggest that the daycare vs grandparents debate should consider the unique advantages of grandparental care. The wisdom and experience grandparents bring to the table are not only beneficial but also essential to the holistic development of children.
However, it should be noted that these benefits do not downplay the importance of daycare services. The aim is to highlight the value of nurturing familial bonds and the potential developmental advantages they can provide. Further research is ongoing to better understand and quantify these benefits.
Early childhood and aged care
Combining aged care and childcare benefits both ends of the age spectrum. This emerging form of care, called intergenerational care, is founded on the notion that old and young can bring new energy, knowledge and enthusiasm to each other's lives.
However, according to Connectability Australia, "Social policy will need to be changed in Australia if this is to move forward and be a sustainable care model. If it is to be considered for every state in Australia, more research will need to be conducted to show the benefits of intergenerational care."
With intergenerational care, childcare benefits can extend beyond the early years of a child's life and also profoundly impact the elderly involved. The daycare vs grandma care debate is transformed into a discussion about how these two demographics can mutually benefit. The elderly, often grandparents, provide wisdom, stability and nurturing care, while children offer vivacity, curiosity and a refreshing perspective on life.
This presents an alternative model wherein the interaction between generations can foster a richer learning environment and a more compassionate society. The intergenerational approach, therefore, is more than just an alternative form of care — it's a symbiotic relationship that could potentially revolutionise how we perceive and implement childcare and aged care.
Why not both?
Recently, we had a magic moment at our Centre at Lake Haven. Building on our partnership with RFBI Masonic Village Nursing Home in Lake Haven, we were able to host a breakfast and get together with some of the residents.
Moments like these reinforce the lessons of compassion, respect and care that come from caring for, listening to and learning from our elders.
Let's get to know each other
Looking for "childcare near me" can be tricky. At any of our Being locations, we aim to make your child's stay with us comforting and nurturing — their home away from home.
Our Being Early Education and Childcare centres, armed with brilliant educators and a proven curriculum, will provide your child with the best learning experience. We understand the importance of giving them enough freedom to explore their interests and gently guiding them towards becoming a powerful child who is confident and self-assured.
Come by and say hi! Our team can't wait to give you a warm welcome. We have facilities in Pymble, Lake Haven, Busby, Ermington (River Road) and Ermington (Lambert Avenue). Contact us today to book a tour or learn more about us.