What Is the Best Age to Start Daycare?

What is the best age to start daycare? It is the biggest dilemma for parents because they find it confusing to figure out the right time and age for childcare. Indeed, it is really frustrating because you want to protect your children while giving them the best future.

Perhaps, there is no comprehensive answer because some experts believe that a 12-month-old child is ready for this transition. In fact, different options are available for parents; therefore, you can evaluate their pros and cons before making a decision. Several daycare centers offer infant care and accept six weeks old babies.


Creative african american little girl painting at daycare, sitting at table with female teacher and holding brush, young woman doing arts and crafts with infant at kindergarten, copy space

When Can Children Join Daycare?

When to send your kid to childcare is completely your decision, and it may depend on several factors, such as:

  • Duration of parental leave
  • Leaves of your partner
  • Financial responsibility
  • Available childcare options like family members

However, you can send infants to daycare at six weeks, but experts prefer to wait longer. During this period, you can create a secure association with your kid, figure out sleep and feeding patterns and adjust to a new routine. Additionally, this period is beneficial to complete umbilical cord healing.

Some studies show that too early daycare may increase infant stress; therefore, carefully decide when you want to send your kid to daycare. Here are two important points to understand in determining the best age for daycare.

Duration of Child at DaycareIt can be stressful for a three years old child to spend their entire day at daycare. To improve your child, you should not leave him in a daycare for more than 5 to 6 hours.

Natural Stress Level of Children

Every child is different; therefore, you will be the best person to judge their demeanor and stress. If your child gets easily anxious, they will definitely experience separation anxiety. If children are calm and easygoing, they can easily adjust to childcare. The right childcare age may vary for every child.


Evaluate Independence of Your Child

Physical and emotional attachment may vary in children, and it can be challenging to understand because they cannot communicate clearly. They often express themselves physically; therefore, keep an eye on the following signs.

  • Do they walk without assistance?
  • Are they friendly with other toddlers and infants?
  • Do they play with other children without supervision?
  • Do they understand cause and effect relations? What is their reaction after throwing a glass on the ground?
  • Do they form words instead of just crying?
  • Do they try to dress?
  • Can they express them through blocks or scribbling?

After answering these questions, you will be able to understand the good age for daycare.



Remember, children live a free life and sleep when they want and eat when they feel hungry. Infants cannot separate day and night and live in their comfort zone with their favorite toy, crib, blanket, etc.

Gradually introduce a routine, such as setting their time for eating, sleeping, and playing. Any sudden change in the routine can make children stressed. For this reason, introduce your children to a routine before sending them to a daycare.

Prepare them to spend a few hours away from their home. Once you are done with their training, you can send them to childcare.

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