The Importance Of Interaction And Nurturing

[tweetmeme source=”FrenchNad” only_single=false] While reviewing an ARTICLE from Reuters titled “Study shows consistent benefit of early daycare”, I was reminded of the challenges parents face while evaluating options for entrusting their most precious beings in the hands of a childcare provider. There are so many studies out there though that either support or discredit the concept of “childcare” versus full-time parenting.

The Parental Role vs. Childcare

So much of the media and “parent peer pressure” instills a feeling of guilt in mothers who go back to work to help to pay the bills or pursue a full-time career. That feeling is created by the notion that opting for childcare is giving up a portion of your parenting role. However, parental responsibility includes providing, in the form of a home, food, education… and love! Parents should never be made to feel guilty for pursuing their professions and ensuring they will be able to provide the best for their children, in all areas of their lives. Children are more likely to pursue a specialty and profession when their parents are continually growing, reaching their own goals and therewith instilling fulfillment and ambition in their offspring, whether they decide to pursue these goals at home or through a career.

The Childcare Provider’s Role in Early Education

The article explains that high-quality childcare helps to boost academic performance in later years. It then underlines “the importance of interaction between children and their daytime caregivers,” and that the researchers are seeing “enduring effects of the quality of staff-child interaction.”

There bring up several important points covered here in more detail:

1) High-Quality

How is “high-quality” defined? Is it the adult-to-child ratio? The academic level of the program? The credentials of the childcare providers? How clean and sanitary the facilities are? How small & selective the enrollment is? Although all those questions may come into play, the article only discussed the daycare option, and did not expand into other forms of high-quality childcare such as a nanny or au pair, who provide 1-on-1 care with siblings, in the comfort (and sanitary) of their home environment?

2) Boosting Academic Performance

I would be interested to find out what aspects of early childhood education these studies concluded were instrumental in boosting academic performance. I understand it is probably a combination of reading, learning games, playing, speaking, sports… How about bilingualism? I have found that the abilities early exposure to a second language provide, extend beyond communication, but also to logical thinking/ math, tolerance of people from other nationalities, outstanding people skills, an acute ability to adapt to new situations and environments, etc.

3) The Interaction

That aspect of childcare is truly key. A childcare provider is not only responsible for “watching” children (making sure they remain safe, feeding them, etc.) but also for nurturing them with love, compassion, care, patience, understanding, two-way attentive communication. Interaction is more limited when the ratio of adult per child is low, and when daycare workers are so busy keeping the group running that they may not have the ability to provide individual care. 

Additionally, while the relationship between provider and child may be more professional with the daycare option, it is also more distant. Although it can be a little frightening at first for parents to see their children grow so close to an au pair who will leave their family after 1 or 2 years, these are bonds that are often nurtured beyond their au pair year. They prepare children for the relationships they will develop in school and in life, with some that are kept beyond a shared class, or others that may have to end because of distance or moving. The impact their nanny will have will be long-lasting and help children in their social skills, in addition to setting them up for academic success.

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About FrenchNad

English to French Translator & Interpreter; blogging at lemotdubonjour.com about a French word of the day, the challenges of interpreting and translating, and my adventures in Oregon!
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4 Responses to The Importance Of Interaction And Nurturing

  1. eof737 says:

    When my kids were little, I had a nanny when I returned to work. There were people who felt I shouldn’t have help but that is nonsense. If you need help you should get it especially if you must go back to work to support your household. I liked the idea of someone in my home with my kids. It was familiar territory and we worked out the schedule and everything else. I have no regrets about it ad my kids are now healthy teens. Great topic and I’m glad I stopped by from mom bloggers today.
    Cheers,
    Eliz

    • aupairsalon says:

      Thanks Eliz for the comment! It is too bad some people did not support your choice at the time, and kudos for sticking through with a nanny.
      My choice for childcare has a huge impact on how / when to start a family in my opinion, but family/ friends don’t understand and think my preference for a nanny/ au pair is a luxury… “everyone just uses daycare, so will you”. That may be fine for some people, but I want to make the right choice for my family — especially if I want my kids to be fluent in French/ English/ German so they can communicate with their grandparents, aunts/ uncles and great-grandparents!

  2. Angelia Sims says:

    Love your take on this, and how important it is not to feel guilty. In addition, I think too many parents stick with norm and don’t re-evaluate their child’s provider care needs as they grow.

    Thanks as well for your info on the retweet button for wordpress.com blogs. I got mine added, thanks to you. 🙂

    • aupairsalon says:

      True, I think there is no “one-type-fits-all” type of childcare and needs change with the parents' style, their schedule, the ages of their children, their set-up… It is always important to choose/ re-evaluate/ adapt.

      You are welcome on the retweet button tips, I will retweet your latest post now 🙂 So glad I could help, I am a new wordpress.com blogger and excited 😉

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