After having a child and bonding with them throughout your maternity leave, going back to work can seem like life’s scariest challenge so far. Handing your most precious creation over to the care of a stranger is a daunting task and may deter you from returning to employment. However, research shows that allowing your child to attend a nursery or pre-school can positively impact their cognitive development and encourage the growth of their personal and social interaction skills.
In a report on early childcare and child development, the Journal of Social Policy states that “Results show that formal group care is positively associated with school readiness test scores.” Allowing your child the opportunity to interact and grow with other children of the same level prepares them both mentally and emotionally for the giant step in to full time school.
Dr Kirstine Hansen of the Centre for Longitudinal Studies at London’s Institute of Education analysed the Foundation Stage Profile results of 10,600 children, born in 2000 and 2001. From her research Dr Hansen found that children that are exposed to a form of official childcare, such as a nursery or a pre-school, are at an advantage in all areas of their development by the end of their first year of school. This demonstrates that children who are allowed the opportunity to socialise and interact with peers of the same developmental range are more likely to be ahead of those who have been looked after by a parent or childminder.
By having your child in a nursery or pre-school they will be developed and nurtured by government standards and requirements giving you peace of mind in what can be a very difficult situation. By being part of a group a child learns life long skills from the very beginning such as sharing which is an invaluable aptitude to acquire from as early as possible.
The yearly cost of childcare exceeds £11,050 in our nation’s capital; meaning for some parents returning to work is simply not an option, so why not ask your employer about becoming a part of the Imagine Co-operative childcare voucher scheme? The vouchers are accepted nationally at a wide range of registered childcare providers from nurseries to holiday play schemes for the care of children up to the age of 15 or 16 for those with disabilities.