I put DD into familly daycare 2 days a week, the two days I work.
Prior to her going in, at approx 8 months, she was very clingy, would scream if I left the room, she faced separation anxiety at 4 months and it didn't seem to leave! She certainly didn't know how to play with other kids. She saw kids on Thursdays at mums group and when we went to library on Mondays as well as swimming on another day, but she wouldn't leave my side. The others in the mums group were certainly not like that. They were into everything, girls and boys alike! And they were the same age as my DD give or take a few weeks!
After about 4 months of searching for the right daycare, I found the perfect family daycare. DD completely changed after 2 visits. This clingy little girl actually braved out to play WITH the other kids. She giggled around other kids, starting verbalising infront of others, like she did when she was at home. At mums group, she even hugged one of the mums!!!
i had previously seen her as two different kids...one with me where she was brave, daring, boistrous and oh so talkative...to this shy, timid little thing.
After going to the right daycare...she was the same brave fun loud kid anywhere we went!
Now at 17 months, she has one day where she is the oldest at the family daycare (only two of them, the other one is 9 months) and one day where she is the youngest of 4.
One day she is the role model, leader, teacher...and she plays with the other little girl...i have seen DD encouraging the peak a boo games, she has taught her to play with a bucket and spade and the other little girl watches my DD when she sits and stands etc and has a go at doing it herself.
On the other day, I notice her language has just improved so much. She is certainly a very vocal girl, and speaks pretty well, when she chooses too, but on that day she says all the kids names quite clearly and asks for her water etc...she has learnt a lot from the others!
If i didn't work, i would never have put her into daycare...but if i knew what a difference it would make her, i would.
But that is my daughter. Other kids in my mums group never had the socialisation problems, the separation anxiety etc... they haven't gone to daycare and they keep learning and socialising.
My DD, I feel, needed it. I tried to teach her things, but for her, watching and exploring with others when she was ready, was what was best for her.
Every child is different, but only the parent knows what the child is like and what the child needs. That is why we have different schools, Steiner, Catholic, Montessori etc...because all children need different things and learn differently.
This doesn't start at prep...it starts at birth...we are all individuals and we require different things, stimulation, prompting etc.
But only a parent will know what is right.
So it is great daycare has worked for my DD and for those other peoples children.
But it wont work for some! And that is fine too!!! smile