Should I Send My Child to Daycare for Their Social Development?


Written by Marlene Alcon Kepka


| 9 MIN READ |


Social skills are very important for your child’s development. Daycares give that to your child. But so do other options that might suite your family better. Play groups, parks, friends, camps, etc. All great ways to be social.

A daycare can save you a lot of time and the best childcare centres focus on social development so your child gets a great head start.

They are well trained and know how to help your child be socially active with their peers.

My points in this article are about putting your child into daycare for the social development not about daycare in general.

If you need childcare then you need it, simple. But what if you don’t NEED it but want to put your child in for he social aspect?

Either way, being social is important for all ages and not just the early years. Let’s dig in and see how important it is.

I’m Super Social… Get Off My Lawn!!!!

I’m sure that more than one of you reading this got your job, found your significant other or had a great time by using your social skills. We’ve all been there.

That right person you know that got your resume to the top of the pile. They got you a job and maybe kick started your entire career. Wouldn’t have happened without social development.

Maybe you’re married or have an amazing significant other. That wasn’t luck or serendipity… well maybe a little. It was you being social. Your socially developed skills got the love of your life.

It can be argued that sales make a lot of money and take little formal education. I know I used to be a real estate agent in another life. The more social you are the more money you can make.

Check out this amazing article in the Harvard Business Review on how the more technology we acquire the more social skills are important.

For you guys out there that are busy…is that all of us? It pretty much says that all job growth since the 80’s has been social skill-intensive.

They also mention that as jobs get more automated by robots and software. Jobs with high social skills will be in more demand and hard to automate. Simply put the more social you are the more job security you will have…. And your child will have as an adult.

Let children play on your lawn! Its good for them and it’s good for you.

Is Daycare the Best Option?

It can be. Daycare in Calgary can be expensive as it can be in any city. This is a question of economic means. Not everyone can afford a high quality daycare.

I’ll touch on what options parents have that don’t have the funds to get their child into daycare. A nanny can be very expensive, and I would argue the least social. But to each their own.

For now let’s discuss all the benefits of a great daycare program. Let’s take our program, 2000 Days Pre-Kidnergarten. I try so hard to have the highest quality program I can create with my staff. We understand the value of social development.

My team strives to have children “get out of their shell”, interact and enjoy spending time with their peers. My childcare workers are trained and know how to interact with children as a guide.

What I mean by this is that in our daycare the teachers guide the children to activities and proper social behavior. They don’t interfere.

Part of being social is interacting with others (could say it’s the main thing). Your child will bite or kick or hit someone with a plastic dinosaur.


It’s inevitable. How you or your child care worker handle this is important. In these early years the wrong reaction can have dire affects on your child later in life.

Knowing your child is in a daycare that handles your child’s negative social behavior is very important. My childcare centre never punishes children.

We use empathy and sympathy to help children understand how their actions hurt others and make them feel.

We also encourage children to interact and make friends. Many of the children from my program become friends for many years after. My teachers use programming and tools to help children become more social to make more friends.

A daycare has a lot of positives for social interaction. Another main one is the size. Daycares like mine have 80 children on a typical day. Our classrooms have between 10-20 children.

These are perfect sized classes to make friends.

Plus, the day to day is consistent. The children that come to our childcare facility are the same ones daily. Your child gets to create true bonds with their peers.

If you can afford a daycare in Calgary then I would say its your best bet for a very well adjust, social child. You have professionals working with your child daily to get the most out of them.

Being a parent, teaching your child to socialize and working a full-time job can be a bit much. But there are alternatives if you don’t want to send your child to daycare or if you can’t swing the cost.

Alternatives to a Daycare For Social Development

You don’t want to send your child to a daycare. Or maybe your financial circumstances don’t allow for it. A nanny is out of the question for you.

What can you do to get a well-adjusted social child? A lot actually.

The first thing I would do is read this. Great article from about 12 ways to improve sociability. It’s not focused on children but you can easily adapt them to your child and still get a lot of good from it.

Next you need to find play groups. Consistent ones that have the same children in it on a weekly basis at the minimum. Twice a week is much better.

Remember children have a short memory. They need reinforcement with friends to create social bonds.

You can find groups on or your local community website. If you’re not in Calgary or a big town then post things on local bulletin boards for play groups.

Facebook groups work. Even just standing around a local park and talking to her parents. Bottom line there are a lot of ways to get your child social.

Once your child is in social groups and gets consistent social interaction you need to apply some of those life hacks to them.

You need to model how to be social. Say hello to people. Be the first to strike up a conversation.

Show them how you call friends to make play dates and get togethers. You need to model to your child what being social is and what being a good friend is.

Your child is a sponge and soaks up a lot of the social queues you put up. Make them positive!

There is the opposite of that and you as the parent need to show your child what negative social behavior is. Bullying, hitting, not caring about friends are all negative social behaviors. You need to put in effort on this front and model again.

I mentioned modelling a lot. That’s because children watch you a lot. More than you think. They copy your mannerisms and social queues.

The more socially positive you are the more your child will be. I can’t stress this enough.

Yes, it’s a lot of work. That’s why if you can get your child into a daycare you should. It takes a lot of the stress and work off you.

But I get it; not everyone can. You will have to put in the heavy lifting to get a well-rounded and social child.

I can say for sure that if you do this it will pay off for you and your child.

To Daycare or not to Daycare?

The final verdict for if you should put your child into daycare for just the social aspects is….

It depends.

Like most questions about children it all depends. After working with children for 20+ years I can say that a childcare center will be very beneficial for your child’s social development. The routine of seeing the same children daily is huge.

Teachers that are trained to guide your child into healthy social behavior can’t be understated. Having larger groups of 8-18 children is also a benefit as social scenarios will come up and your child will have to navigate that.

Many daycares in Calgary document your little ones day. We do with Himama. It’s a great program that tells you what your child ate, how long they slept and any behaviors that are amazing or concerning.

That alone will help you guide your child in their social development.

Now the depends part. If you can’t afford daycare then I wouldn’t sacrifice quality of life for it.

As mentioned before there are still things you can do to get a well-rounded, socially adjusted child. My biggest concern is the time.

It takes a lot of time to get it right. Parents that work barely have time for themselves so might not have the adequate time to teach their child on how to be social.

Plus getting your child into larger groups consistently can also be a challenge.

But the fact that you’re reading this article shows you’re a caring parent that loves their child. Or you wouldn’t be searching out articles on how to make them a better and more successful person.

Daycare is a great option for social development in little ones and I highly recommend it. I know I own a daycare so I’m biased.

But even if I didn’t, I have worked with children long enough to see amazing results in their social skills.

Do you think childcare centres offer a bit more umph when it comes to social development?