Child Care: Development and Socialization

A family's decision to have a parent stay at home or not determines in part how the child will be socialized. In a day care setting, the child is exposed daily to many other children and learns the important skills of sharing and playing together. Also, children in day care are likely to be exposed to and learn about people from different cultures, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. Children who remains at home with a parent end up having less interaction with others. In some cases, such relative isolation can push the child towards shyness or to have difficulty interacting with other children when the time comes to enter school. It is important for stay-at-home caregivers to seek out opportunities for children to be exposed to other children, whether through play groups, children in the neighborhood or extended family, or through short day care situations such as at a gym/health center so that some socialization occurs.