Child Care Programs and Social Development

November 14, 2023

Social development is an important topic for any young child, and parents are often looking for simple ways to promote this vital concept. There are many resources out there when it comes to children and social development, and participation in daycare or other basic child care programs is often a highly effective approach.

At Devlin's Child Development, we're here to offer quality daycare, preschool, after school and other child care programs for clients around Sandy. Here are some basics on how young children develop socially, some common milestones they often hit at certain age ranges, and the valuable role daycare and other child care programs play in helping foster healthy social development.

Child Social Development Basics and Milestones

For first-time parents who may be wondering about the basics of social development and what to expect in their child's first few years, we have you covered. Here are some basic milestones many children hit at various age ranges:

  • 0-2 Years: During this period, infants and toddlers are just learning how to interact with others in a social setting for the first time. They often begin by mimicking facial expressions and gestures, and also learn how to share attention with others.
  • 3-5 Years: As children develop the ability to communicate more and understand others better, they begin building relationships that may include pretend play. They will also start developing sympathy for others around them during this period.
  • 6-9 Years: During these years, children are better able to build on their previous relationships and expand their social circles. They're also more likely to seek peer approval during this period.
  • 10+ Years: Once they enter double digits, children will often be able to regulate their emotions better in the face of social situations. They may become more interested in group activities.

To be clear, the specifics here will vary with each child, but these are common trends for many. Our next several sections will look at the positive role child care programs often play in helping promote these concepts across varying ages.

Making Friends and Connections

One of the most important benefits of child care programs when it comes to social development is the opportunity for children to make friends and connections. Many young children are just learning about making friends and might not have had many opportunities to do so before starting daycare or preschool, where they're exposed to a wider variety of personalities and backgrounds.

This exposure can be hugely valuable for kids, helping them learn how to work through differences and build relationships. They also have more chances to practice communication and compromise while they're in daycare, all important aspects of social development.

Sharing and Cooperation Concepts

Down related lines, daycare and preschool programs are also valuable for helping young children learn the concept of sharing. For many kids, especially only-children or those with older siblings, learning to share can be a bit tough at first. But daycare offers plenty of regular opportunities for this kind of skill-building, through activities like group games, snack times and others.

Kids can also learn important cooperation concepts through these programs. From creating group projects to learning how to take turns, children are taught different ways of working together and socializing that they can carry with them into other settings.

Navigating Separation Anxiety

Another key piece of social development for young children involves overcoming any separation anxiety they may have when their parents leave them for the day. This can be a challenging period, but research has shown that children are often better able to cope with this kind of separation when they've had experience in other social settings such as daycare.

By introducing children to this environment early on, parents give them a chance to practice being away from home and family while still being in a safe and supportive environment. This can be hugely beneficial for children as they continue to grow and develop socially.

Expanding Community

For both parents and children alike, daycare and preschool programs often offer a valuable opportunity for community expansion. Many parents are able to connect with other adults who have children the same age, while kids may find new friends from different backgrounds than their own. This can be highly beneficial for social development, as it teaches children how to interact with all kinds of people and learn about diversity.

Role-Playing and Emotional Regulation

Finally, one of the most notable benefits of daycare and preschool when it comes to social development is the opportunity for role-playing and emotional regulation. Through imaginative play activities, children are able to act out different scenarios and learn about empathy towards others. They also have chances to regulate their emotions in a safe and controlled environment, which can be helpful as they continue to grow and develop socially.

At Devlin's Child Development, we understand the importance of social development in young children, and our programs are designed to promote this vital concept. From making friends and connections to learning important sharing and cooperation skills, we strive to create a positive and nurturing environment for children to grow socially. Contact us today to learn more about our child care options in Sandy.

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9310 So, State St, Sandy, UT 84070
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