I’ve been beating myself up over the fact that I returned to work, now I have the internal debate with myself about day-care.
It’s not that I’m against it, at all! I went to family day-care when I was just five months old and I have nothing but fond memories of those times. I guess as a mother I just have that internal tug of war relating to leaving Albie and knowing that it’s best for him to be with other children and to be stimulated at least once a week by qualified educators, it’s the guilt of also enjoying having that time to myself too. Plus he’s super clingy at the moment, so the thought of leaving him breaks my heart (although let’s be honest, they only need to show him a bright light, or turn the TV on and he’ll forget I even exist!) ha.
The other thing that weighs heavily on my mind is the cost, it is no secret that pre-school (especially in Sydney) is extortionate, and in my opinion nowhere near as advanced as the rest of the world. At an average of $130 a day, for some it can feel out of reach as it cancels out their income that they would earn in that time.
I recently met with Jay Laga’aia to chat about why preschool benefits the brain, as a father of eight and having presented Preschool for many years he is a strong believer that all children should get to attend and experience the joy of preschool and a formal early education. Jay explained that he really believes in the value of a formal early education as children are not only stimulated from an educational perspective, but also from a social one too.
We spoke about NSW Government’s investment into day-care to ensure that those who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford to put their child in, even for one day a week. $115 million over 18 months is being delivered to make early childhood education more affordable will reduce fees significantly for children from Aboriginal and low-income families. (Allowing more parents to enrol their children for 600 hours in the years before school).
The Start Strong program works to assist parents to understand and consider how quality early childhood education can give their children the best start in life. Startstrong.nsw.edu.au is designed to help parents understand their child’s early development by demonstrating how the brain develops before the age of five.
The interactive platform startstrong.nsw.edu.au is designed to help parents understand their child’s early development by demonstrating how the brain develops before the age of five. The #StartStrong virtual experience allows users to follow the journey of a child’s brain at work. Like a real brain, each synapse on the platform is unique and there are 10 node hotspots, each with a unique animation that can be tapped for more information and eye opening insights.
Some of the research* includes:
- Children who have participated in early childhood education are more likely to have an IQ higher than 90 at the age of 5
- A child’s language skills and vocabulary often quadruple between ages two and four
- 5 year old children use 60% of their energy to build a brain So I concluded that even though I feel guilty about leaving my gorgeous Albie whilst I go to work, or hell go for a day spa to have some time to myself, I should be patting myself on the back as it is giving him the tools and experience for when he starts school. Also I should be thankful that I’m in a position financially to be able to put Albie into pre-school.
- *The Child Brain Explained – NSW Department of Education’s research, 2017
He starts tomorrow and I opted for family day-care, have any of you had any experiences that you’d like to share when it comes to preschool and early formal education options?