Moms who work often face a dilemma: Use day care or hire a nanny or babysitter to watch the kids. There are a few lucky souls out there who are blessed with having close friends or family members watch their children, but for the rest of us, we have to choose. And that decision, like all things with parenting, doesn't come without guilt.
Although the prospect of having one-on-one care for your child with a nanny or babysitter is appealing to some, there are tons of reasons sending your little one off to day care can be a huge benefit -- not just to your wallet, but to your child.
Here are 6 reasons day care is awesome for your kid.
1. Your kids have a lower chance of being depressed. A recent study showed that moms who are depressed have less of a chance of passing down their depression to their kids if they spend some time in day care -- and it makes sense. Don't you have fun when you're surrounded by friends doing fun things?
2. Socialization. Kids who go to day care will, obviously, be used to being around other kids -- more so than kids who have one-on-one childcare. There are a million reasons your child will benefit from being around other kids -- they'll come out of their shell more easily; they'll be "used to" kids by the time preschool rolls around; and hey, they'll have friends.
More from The Stir: The 8 Types of Babysitters Every Mom Meets
3. Structure. When you send your child to day care, you know they are in for a structured day: Play, nap, eat, play, snack. Kids like this. We've heard time and again that children crave routine -- and it even improves their brain. Yes, you can instruct the babysitter or nanny to follow a specific schedule, but there are no guarantees it will happen every day. With day care, you know you're getting this.
4. Your child will never be bored. I believe that the older kids get, it's okay for them to be bored, but when they're little, they thrive on play and interaction with others. It's a lot easier to run out of things to do when it's just a babysitter and a child than if your kid is at day care, where there are tons of activities to do and people to interact with.
5. Academic readiness. Studies have shown that kids who go to day care may be more ready for school than their stay-at-home counterparts. No, your child won't learn physics at the day care center, but very basic math and language skills are often learned.
6. Your child is in good hands. When you send your little one off to day care, you know they're with trained professionals. You can't be just anybody and open up a childcare center.
Do you send your kid to day care?
Image via Grant Barrett/Flickr
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside