These Moms Explain Why They Chose Day Care Over Other Child Care Options

With so many options for child care out there, how is a mom to choose which one is right for her kids and family? We find that the best advice is usually a result of word of mouth, and while no childcare option fits all — whether it be staying at home yourself, hiring a nanny, enlisting the help of friends or family members as sitters, or finding a day care that you love — hearing the opinions and experiences of other moms is always helpful. And as it turns out, moms who chose day care have a lot of thoughts on the matter.

Ahead, find some of the main benefits moms who chose day care over other childcare options have seen as a result of their decision.

It teaches a variety of educational skills and gives many an academic jump.
Unsplash | Annie Spratt

It teaches a variety of educational skills and gives many an academic jump.

"I had no choice but to put my kids in day care from the time they were infants. I had to work. And I was pleasantly surprised at how much they learned. They always tested high and got straight As later in life. And now one is a college graduate and one is in a Doctorate program. I truly attribute it to them learning as early as possible." — Amy S.

"My son attends Montessori and I have been more than pleased with his learning. They start off in the infant program teaching sign language long before the children have the oral motor skills for verbal communication. The learning throughout the preschool years is unparalleled. At 3-and-a-half, he is a year ahead in terms of vocabulary development compared to his same-aged peers based on standardized testing." — Kyla L.

"We also do Montessori and it's been amazing; our girl knows SO MUCH. I wouldn't have been able to teach that much if I stayed home or had family watch her." — Tesha H.

It gives them a chance to learn all types of skills from their peers (and caregivers!).
Unsplash | Tina Floersch

It gives them a chance to learn all types of skills from their peers (and caregivers!).

"One of the many benefits of sending our son to day care has been a positive peer influence — I call it toddler peer tutoring. His peers have modeled how to sit down and eat with utensils, share adult attention, follow directions, go on the potty, walk in a line, participate in singalongs, use quiet library voices, nap without a pacifier, and move his body safely during movement/dance classes." — Elizabeth C.

"Day care teaches our child a lot of things like how to put on clothes, how to brush teeth, potty-training. Yes — as a mom I feel like I should do it all — but even in the old days, there would be a literal village to support the parents. I don't live in a village, but day care provides that important community of support and teaching that our children need." — Mohita M.

"Kids learn so much at day care! I love it. [My] 16-month-old has been going since she was 5 months old and I think it definitely helps her a lot to watch older kids. She eats way better at day care than at home, and it was where she started potty-training, to our surprise." — Rachel B.

"My daughter learns so much more than she ever would at home with just me or a nanny. She comes home and tells me stories. She learns how to be part of a social group. I learn from the other parents and daycare provider. No guilt necessary!" — Alison M.

"So many incredible benefits: socialization, learning to follow rules and listen to someone besides his parents, learning how to deal with conflict and one of my favorites . . . handling other children's temperaments. . . . It's also wonderful to have someone else reinforcing what we work in at home. It's made him stronger!" — Tara R.

It provides a more structured and regimented routine in a community outside the home.
Unsplash | Cel Lisboa

It provides a more structured and regimented routine in a community outside the home.

"Consistency and stability! We have both benefited greatly from the consistency and structure and stability of day care. She goes to the same place every day and knows what is expected of her. She is not constantly being thrown into different schedules like she might be if we had family members watching her certain days or various other types of care. Also, the stability is ideal for me. I don't have to worry or plan around my caregiver's sick days, vacations, or family crisis. The daycare operators take on that burden so I am never left scrambling for child care at the last minute." — Emily C.

"We did once-a-week day care when [my daughter] was a toddler. I loved knowing exactly where my child was at all times (versus out and about with a nanny). We loved having a safe and nurturing place for her to go where she could start to respond to other adults and be part of a community outside the home." — Kim C.

"I personally love that [my daughter] is on a more regimented schedule, with consistent meal times and naps. Her day care also works on potty-training, which is a huge plus (fewer accidents in our house!)." — Stacy Hersher, director, POPSUGAR Social and Partnerships

It leads to socialization.
Unsplash | Edward Cisneros

It leads to socialization.

"Socialization! He's already wanting to get more mobile as well as he's one of two kids who isn't crawling yet. He's fascinated by the other kids crawling/walking and eating solids." — Rebekah D.

"Our toddler spent her first 18 months with a nanny, but recently started at day care. While we loved her nanny, we ultimately chose to enroll her in day care because it is a much more affordable option. There have been a few other noticeable benefits, though: we are so happy to have her in a bigger group setting — learning to socialize, play, and share with other kids." — Stacy Hersher, director, POPSUGAR Social and Partnerships

"The social and coping skills my kids learned in nursery (aka day care) set them up for real success in preschool and beyond and [were] more than I could ever accomplish on my own." — Jennifer F.

"Our son really enjoys learning, playing, and interacting with other kids — especially since he doesn't have siblings. I like that he has access to several caretakers/teachers and that we have a sense of community among the other parents. Seeing him excited at drop-off time makes me feel good about day care now and the acclimation to school later." — Angela Elias, content director, POPSUGAR Moms

It gives kids exposure to children from diverse families.
Unsplash | Ashton Bingham

It gives kids exposure to children from diverse families.

"When my husband and I started looking into childcare options, finding a language immersion program was at the top of our list. . . . I wanted to make the path of connecting to family, culture, and personal identity a little easier for my son to find. The cognitive development benefits that come with exposing young children to bilingual education were definitely a bonus." — Angela Elias, content director, POPSUGAR Moms

"We have had a great experience and all the teachers have been very loving and kind, but they are a diverse group, so I think that only helps my daughter to be exposed to many different personalities while staying within the same environment and setting in which she has grown comfortable and feels safe." — Emily C.

It gives parents a needed break and lends to making family time more intentional.
Unsplash | Jelleke Vanooteghem

It gives parents a needed break and lends to making family time more intentional.

"For us as parents, it has made the time we have with our little much more intentional and less stressed. We really cherish our mornings, evenings, and weekends together and our little has bonded well to both my husband and I. I think it has helped me to be more intentional with my work as well — I want to make sure I can be totally present when I get home. We really do love day care!" — Kelsey L.

"Our day care allows babysitting, so it's also been a source of highly trusted and professional nighttime and weekend child care for us when needed." — Amanda W.

"No guilt necessary — it's only benefited my child in every way and he's made friends and learned so much in he process! A little personal time is good for my soul and, in turn, good for his!!" — Tara R.