What Do Babies Do at Daycare?

With all the joy and excitement your baby brings, you may find yourself wondering, what do babies do at daycare? When you’re away or working, what will daycare teachers do for your baby?

What does the baby daycare experience include? Every daycare is, of course, different. But high-quality facilities should have welcoming environments and research-based programs to help your infant thrive and support their development. Read on to learn what to expect at child care facilities, specifically in their infant programs.

Teacher reading a book to an infant

It’s a bit easier to imagine what older children do. In most cases, you can just ask them! If they have a good time, they’ll be sure to let you know. You’ll also be able to recognize the signs when they don’t seem to enjoy their daycare center.

With babies, it can be a bit more challenging to figure out what they do at daycare. Not only are babies prone to cry for many different reasons, they also can’t communicate fully yet, so it might be hard to understand what they do at daycare and whether they enjoy their time at their center. 

So, what does the baby daycare experience include?

Every daycare is, of course, different. But high-quality facilities should have welcoming environments and research-based programs to help your infant thrive and support their development. Read on to learn what to expect at child care facilities, specifically in their infant programs.

What Makes a High-Quality Daycare Center?

When you walk into a high-quality daycare center, you’ll know. Your family will feel welcome; you’ll get peace of mind from health, safety, and security policies; and you’ll see environments designed for every age group – including soft, sensory-rich places where babies can explore and learn to crawl, pull up, roll over, walk, and more.

Personalized care plans for every infant in the classroom should include nutritional guidelines, allergies, family preferences, feeding and sleep schedules, and other unique needs.

Additionally, babies should have an assigned primary caregiver for one-on-one moments -- bonding, social interaction, and support for skill-building. 

So, What Do Babies Do at Daycare?

Wondering what to expect at a daycare? Every daycare is different, but generally, babies should get a well-rounded experience that supports all areas of their development. This includes reading, art, sign language, exploration of natural and everyday objects, and time for outdoor discovery. Babies should also have plenty of time to practice skills that support upcoming developmental milestones, such as crawling, sitting, walking, and more.

Do a daycare comparison and tour local centers (virtually or in person) to see what babies do at daycare firsthand. You’ll have the chance to ask specific questions, observe, and see the curriculum and activities in action. 

 

 

WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT STARTING A BABY AT DAYCARE?

What will my child learn at daycare?

Daycare curriculum and activities should support all areas of development, encourage social-emotional skills, help children get ready for school and all the big steps ahead, and more.

How should I dress my baby for daycare?

Dress your baby in comfortable clothes that will be easy for them to move around in. Make sure they have extra changes of clothes at the center, plus weather-appropriate items for outdoor play.

What do parents expect from daycare?

Parents expect daycare to provide a safe, nurturing, and enriching environment for their children.

Why does my baby cry when I pick them up from daycare?

Babies cry for many different reasons. If your baby cries at pick-up, it could be due to the transition or change in routine – it might just be something they’re not quite used to yet.

mother holding child

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Bright Horizons is a United States–based child-care provider and is the largest provider of employer-sponsored child care. Employees looking to become a child care teacher are offered the opportunity to earn an early education degree for free as part of their corporate benefits. Search by zip to find a child care center near you. Bright Horizons Global Headquarters are in Newton, Massachusetts, USA.