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Thread: Advice on good age for socialisation/being with other kids

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Recently treechanged to Woodend, VIC

    Default Advice on good age for socialisation/being with other kids

    My DD is seven months old and I intend to go back to work part-time in July/August for five days per fortnight. We are lucky that a) my partner is a shift worker and b) that means we qualify for in-home care and c) that we will only need that care for two short days one week and three x three hours the next weeks so around 20-25 hours in total for the fortnight.

    I feel very good about this because I need to go back to work for my own wellbeing. I have loved being at home with my DD full-time but I think I would appreciate and treasure that time even more if I was working part-time. As I've said in other posts, I do get a little frustrated that at home it's the same To Do list every day and it's hard to stay motivated whereas at work you can tick things off the To Do list and those 'wins' keep you motivated. I think the balance will be better for me, better for DD and better for my relationship with DP.

    I am also much more comfortable that she will have one-on-one care in our own home as I don't think that she needs to be around other babies/children right now. I've seen her at Mothers Group and none of them are really interested in interacting with the other children, they're just interested in a) their mummy and b) stealing other children's toys.

    However, I do think there comes an age when interacting with other children will be VERY good for her - just not yet.

    So although we will be paying an arm and a leg to have one-on-one care for her in the short term, my longer term plan is to use family daycare or if I can't find one I'm comfortable with, then a childcare centre.

    In other people's opinions, at what age do you think your child benefited from being around other children and in an ideal world, at what age would you choose to use daycare?

    PS - this is in no way meant to be a criticism of parents who use daycare - either because they choose to or because they feel forced to because of their economic circumstances. We don't live in an ideal world, we live in the real world and we all have to make the best decision we can based on different circumstances. If it turns into a slanging match, I'll ask the mods to remove. I expect us to have differing opinions on what is the 'right' age but hope we can express those views without being critical of others'.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Sydney NSW


    DS went to FDC at 8 months cause i had to go back to work p/t. for me that was the better choice than daycare centre as he was the only child under 1 and there were only 4 other kids there. He will stay there until he goes to pre-school for the 2 years before he starts school as that will help him adjust to school and socialise in a large group of children his own age.
    If you are going out and mixing with other kids then he should be fine being minded by himself until at least 2 or 3 IMHO.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Hunter Valley, NSW


    Young children don't as a rule play with other children the term used is "parallel play" where they play alongside others but not with others. The younger the better for socialisation as this is a skill that all children need to learn. Mothers Groups or play groups are a great place to start, especially if your child will be in day care at home by herself. FDC is also wonderful, because depending on state regs, she will be one of four or five children, and most carers only have one child under twelve months of age. As a carer myself, I find that the children who start care under ten months of age separate better from their parents then children aged ten to twenty months of age. I have a two year old who started with my in January, just began this week to play with another child (age 2-1/2) the elder child has been in care since 9m and has never had trouble been left by mum or dad

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Sunny Qld


    We put DS into day care (first as an emergency, then one day a week, now two days a week) when he was 10 months old. And honestly, I'll be starting a lot earlier with this next one. I think it was hard on him because he hadn't interacted with a lot of kids before (ie ever!), and he got scared when a lot of kids were around him instantly - just wasn't used to it. So with the next one, I'll be starting at 12 weeks when I have to go back to work. I think it works for our family as DS has problems being independent, and the girls at day care are helping him with that, and his walking skills etc, so I'll be more than happy to have my next one start from an early age.
    But its whatever works for your family, and also what YOU are comfortable with.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2004


    My kids have both been in family daycare, 2 days a week from about 7 months.
    DD recently started kindy, at just on 3, and she seems to be at just the right age to really benefit from the larger group of kids.
    The reason we put her in was because at her FDC, she had been with the same three kids (one of whom was her little brother) for a long time, and she was the oldest out of the group by quite a bit.
    As she got closer to three we really started to notice that she was "role playing" by herself alot and imaginary friends started to appear, and she just really seemed to be looking for that interaction with kids her own age that she wasn't getting at FDC. She loved her carer and we were loathe to pull her out but she has absolutely thrived in kindy and she literally cannot wait to go every day. The larger group dynamic has been really good for her communication and social skills, and she just loves it.
    I think we put her in at just the right time.
    Every kid is different but 3 was the magic age for her.

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