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When to Start Day Care

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: Is there any one age that is better for introducing a child to a day care? I have a four-month-old son who is normally happy and content, and making great strides for his age. I am concerned that when I return to work he may not make a good adjustment.

A: The people who are considered experts in this area would tell you that the later you are able to stay with your son before putting him into daycare, the better. Realistically, most parents wait as long as they can before going back to work, but many do have to return to jobs while babies are still young.

When your son begins going to daycare, make sure that you still have time to play with him before his bedtime and on weekends. You may also want to consider taking him to the daycare for partial days before you actually have to start work full-time so that he can get used to the setting gradually.

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Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

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