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I'm a proud father of a newborn baby. My wife is a housewife and she plans sticking to this role, at least for a few years more.

Recently, we have faced a question what to prefer for a growing kid: multiple clubs of interest, let's say 3-4 times a week, or ordinary daycare? What are pros and cons for each of them from educational/pedagogical point of view? Let's put aside money and time costs for each option.

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There are some obvious pros and cons.

Pros for daycare

  • The child learns to socialize with peers that she meets every day. She gets to make friends, learn how to solve conflicts on her own, etc. All that will be useful before going to school.
  • The child learns that it's ok (and it can be fun) to be somewhere where she feels safe, in the absence of mom and dad. It's a first step towards the realization that the world is a bigger place.
  • At daycare there usually is a great variety of activities, not just the 3 or 4 you would otherwise pick for clubs. In this way, the child is exposed to more and can potentially discover new interests.
  • The daycare staff have pedagogical education. They may contribute to your child's education in ways that you as a parent do not, by definition of the respective roles.
  • You go to the same place at the same time every day, very likely somewhere near home. That makes it predictable and safe for the child (and easier for you than if you'd have to go to 3-4 different places every week, most likely at different times).

Pros for clubs

  • If the child is really interested in activity X, she may develop her skills quicker since the only focus of the club is on activity X.
  • Since a parent will always be there, you can experience everything together with your child. You will feel that you have more control as well. You can also keep practising activity X at home.
  • However, I see it as a con that she will most likely meet the same children only once a week, and that even then, at least in the first 3 years of life, there will be little to no interaction with the other children if the parent is also there.
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