As a working mum with a child enrolled in child care, sometimes it seems like everyone has an opinion about my choices – whether it be guilting me for taking a certain amount of time for maternity leave, or questioning why I’m returning to work.
Was I nervous to return to work and leave my precious baby in a room with educators who were (at the time) strangers to me? Absolutely.
But we’re all just trying to do the best we can for our little people. So, have I made the best decision for my family and for my son? Absolutely.
This is why child care works so well for my family and, in particular, my son Harrison.
From yoga to animal experiences and dress-up days, Harrison has done everything from patting chickens to trying out his very own version of Downward Dog while at his early learning centre.
The educators never stop coming up with fun ideas for the children; there might be cooking demonstrations organised for one day, and an excursion booked in for the next. Fire fighters may come and visit, or local football stars.
The result? His experiences are far wider and more engaging than what I might be able to offer at home, as hard as I try to come up with unique activities and adventures for him.
The best part is that I get updated with all the goings-on with my Xplor app, so I always know exactly what Harrison’s up to – whether he’s eating yummy treats, getting his nappy changed or learning a song in a different language.
It might be the high-tech, educational toys that I can’t afford at home. It might be the messy play options that I’d prefer not to clean up after. Or it might just be the endless play options Harrison has to engage in – exploring play equipment, playing ‘shops’ or building blocks.
After all, child care is all about learning through play, and I can rest assured knowing he’s developing all kinds of essential skills while getting creative.
Without child care, Harrison’s circle can be pretty limited to immediate family and friends. Thanks to his early learning centre, he’s exposed to many more children, along with his educators, teaching him important lessons about developing relationships with them all.
We know that by age three, a child’s brain has developed to 80 per cent of its adult size – and it’s the interactions, relationships and experiences that will form Harrison’s brain connections. We’re just lucky that Harrison’s educators keep him so safe, comfortable and encourage him every step of the way.
Easing his lifelong journey
Sometimes a home environment can be a little too chaotic to spend a lot of time focusing on learning. Or it’s hard to know exactly what to do in order to set your child up for success.
Harrison’s educators are qualified in early childhood education, and they take the time to make sure he is being creative and curious with problem-solving, challenging himself and developing resilience as he persists with new learning – that’s why I’m confident in trusting his education and care to professionals.
Thankfully, he’s learning so many vital skills that he’ll be able to draw upon throughout his life and it has significant benefits for his social and emotional wellbeing.
I’m also grateful to be part of a community and network of parents that are supportive, easing some of the ‘mum guilt’ that inevitably creeps in along the way!
And while my son’s early learning journey might just be beginning, I cannot wait to watch him learn, grow and develop within his centre, then transition to life beyond, all while enjoying everything this little community has supported him through.
Interested in learning more about a child centre centre near you? Speak to our family specialists and book a tour in today by calling 1800 314 517.