Parenting Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for parents, grandparents, nannies and others with a parenting role. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

If you had a choice to stay with your single baby at home as long as you want to, would you still send him to a daycare to communicate with other babies? What age is recommended for starting a daycare, partial time / full time?

I would put a baby in daycare at 12 months. But I many people think that it's too early..

share|improve this question

That's a big question with a lot of opinions . . . the current push for "High Quality Preschool" vs. homeschooling and everything in between.

My wife and I both have multiple degrees in different fields, but we didn't feel qualified to teach our kids everything they need to know. I feel the same about anyone who home schools. I wouldn't push that decision on you, do what you think best for your kids, but that's where I come from.

That said, I think a kid who will be attending a traditional elementary school would be at a disadvantage compared to a kid who went to preschool. It's not any academic skills I'd worry about, it's the social aspects . . . taking turns, sharing supplies, cleaning up after yourself, going to the bathroom at the right time. All those skills that make the academic life in a classroom smother.

I wouldn't worry about daycare (unless you need it to work) until they're preschool age, but a year of half-day preschool is a definite plus.

share|improve this answer

We put our first in at 8 weeks and our second in at 6 weeks (in a preschool-quality daycare). For our first, I think he would've been better off at home - and 2 years later, he's going to get that (my wife is staying at home with them now). He'll go to part-day preschool in a year or two, but mostly will be with mommy. He's very independent, and even in a large daycare didn't really do much with the other kids - he played wherever he wanted, and the other kids either joined or didn't, but he didn't care much.

Our second, about a year old when we took him out of daycare, probably would've been better staying. He is much more social, and even at 8-10 months was playing with other kids more than his older brother was at the same time. He certainly did fine at 6 weeks old and still has a strong bond with his parents.

I suspect in the end it doesn't make a big difference; a good daycare versus a well-organized parent will provide different experiences and different benefits, and one might be better for a particular child, but you can't really go wrong overall as long as you have a good situation with attentive caregivers, and aren't just putting the kids in front of the television.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.