Planning on going back to your 9-5, but not sure what to do about your kids?
We get it — deciding whether to send your child to childcare can feel like a hurricane of emotions.
The idea of someone else watching your babe can feel like handing over your heart.
But these thoughts of guilt and worry are totally normal, mama.
And what if we told you there were some major benefits of using childcare for you and your child?
Can childcare really help you build your career while fostering your child’s development?
For your kiddo, it’s a world of colourful adventures, new friends, and endless opportunities to learn and grow.
And while they’re busy discovering the world, you get to rediscover a bit of yourself.
Think about it: time to yourself to focus on your career, pursue a hobby, or just do… nothing (the dream!).
Sounds pretty good, right?
The best bit?
There’s government support available, too, thanks to offers like Tax-Free Childcare, Universal Credit Childcare, and 15 & 30 hours childcare — all laid out on Childcare Choices website.
So just what are the benefits of childcare for working parents and your kids?
Ready to take a peek behind the childcare curtain?
In this article: 📝
- Do children benefit from childcare?
- What are the benefits of childcare for working parents?
- Can having working parents help kids?
Do children benefit from childcare?
Great news! Yes, children can benefit from childcare, beyond their development — working parents, rejoice!
But, of course, we’re all different, so the impact of childcare on each individual child will be unique.
There’s a whole host of childcare providers you can choose from — nurseries to childminders, after-school clubs to playgroups — whatever works!
And, depending on which you choose, there are lots of ways your kiddo could benefit from childcare:
- New friends! Ah, the magic of friendship — there’s nothing quite like it. If your kiddo goes to childcare with other children, they can find their own bestie to play with, laugh with, and maybe even trade snacks with. Trust us, there’s nothing cuter than hearing your toddler talk about the games they’ve played with their BFF that day.
- Building independence and confidence: Childcare might be your child’s first time away from you — it can be scary (for both of you!), but it’s necessary. It’s easy as a mum to automatically do things for your kid — from wiping their nose to pouring their juice — but through childcare, they’ll have the chance to do things solo, building their self-confidence. 💪
- Learning new things: Every day is a learning day! Many childcare options for working parents with children under 5 guided by the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, teaching your child new skills like counting, reading, creativity, and understanding the world — curiosity is good! 🧠
- Inclusive, individual care: Every kid deserves to learn and grow at their own pace. Good-quality childcare providers make sure your child gets the flexible support they need to thrive. So, if your little one learns in a different way or has any special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), they won’t miss out.
- Routine and structure: Most childcare settings are based around routines, schedules, and structure — usually for places like nurseries and childminders, where they look after a group of children. Routines have been found to help improve your child’s engagement, curb ‘problem behaviours’, and boost their time management skills and attention span as adults. Impressive! 📝
- Starting school prep: Going to childcare earlier can work as a practice run for “big kid” life when they start school, getting them used to routines and socialising with other kids. They grow up so fast! 🥲
- A diverse environment: Meeting people from different cultures, ethnicities, abilities, and backgrounds encourages inclusivity, acceptance, and a broader understanding of the world. At group childcare settings, your kid can learn about different cultures, languages, and traditions, enriching their perspective and worldview. It’s a big world out there! 🌍
- Improving their communication skills: Many childcare providers plan activities like telling stories, singing songs and engaging in imaginative plan with kids, which are all great for expanding their vocabulary and understanding. Which could all setting them up for academic success later on, encouraging creativity, and sets the stage for other developmental areas.
- Developing empathy: According to a report by the Department for Education, the more time kids spent in group childcare, the better they got at sharing their toys and feeling for others, getting those empathy muscles working. Plus, studies show that socialising earlier can help children develop their empathy skills.
- Working on their physical development: That’s right, childcare can even be beneficial for helping your child’s physical development. Activities like climbing, playing, and even messy art strengthen your child’s core strength and co-ordination, helping them move with confidence and control. And, for smaller kids, they’ll get to practice their fine motor skills, from zipping tiny jackets to building block kingdoms.
What are the benefits of childcare for working parents?
Childcare can be a lifesaver for working parents — you can go to work and have time for your personal development, while your child can flourish in a structured environment.
Focus and productivity
Childcare lets working parents focus on their career with peace of mind and productivity — great for your self-worth, professional growth, and financial security.
So the whole family benefits!
Picture a workday free from constant diaper changes and interrupted Zoom calls — a familiar scene for many work-from-home or hybrid working parents.
You can actually sink your teeth into work, give it the focus it needs, and get things done.
It’s all about keeping your mind active.
Fresh tasks and supportive colleagues can fuel your creativity and stop boredom from setting in.
And going back to work (or starting work) as a mum can lead to learning new skills, expanding your knowledge base, and enhancing your job prospects.
Mental health and well-being
Your mental health is so important, mama.
For you and for your family.
And we know the mental load for mums is no joke.
It’s also about remembering who you are — being a mum is a big part of you, sure, but it’s not the full story.
Stepping back into work can help you embrace your whole self.
The best bit?
Talking to adults again!
Kids are messy.
It’s just a fact.
But while they’re at childcare, it’s not your problem.
Strong family bonds
It might surprise you to learn that, contrary to popular belief, children of working parents are less likely to have behavioural issues.
Fewer tantrums, meltdowns, and arguments mean a calmer and more positive atmosphere for the whole family.
So the time you spend together could be spent on quality bonding activities — creating memories that last a lifetime.
Also, with your child keeping busy and active at nursery, it takes the pressure off you to always organise and do the things, to think up educational, fun activities or to keep them entertained.
Without this added pressure, you can relax more and enjoy your quality time, just being together.
New friends for you!
Childcare can be a great place to make new friendships for working parents.
If you’re working somewhere there aren’t many other parents, it can sometimes feel isolating with no-one to talk to about what it’s like to be a working mum.
These shared experiences can spark initial connections and lead to deeper conversations over coffee or playdates.
And if you want to chat with other working mums who get it, we’re always here for you on Peanut, too.
Updates on your child’s progress
Many childcare providers are heavily involved in children’s progress on an individual basis.
Whether you choose a group or one-to-one childcare provider, you’ll get regular updates on how your child is progressing, along with recommendations from qualified professionals on activities and methods that could work well for your child.
So at the end of each day, week, or month, you could get a report with observations, anecdotes, and, of course, that all-too-precious artwork by your mini Picasso, giving you a glimpse into their daily life at childcare.
Can having working parents help kids?
Great news, mama — your child could actually benefit from your return to work too.
It’s not just about paying the bills (although, let’s be honest, that helps!), it’s about you and your child thriving in all kinds of ways:
- Meaningful conversations: While you’ve been at work, they’ve been elsewhere, so they’ll have lots of stories to regale you with when you’re together — which is also great for their language development.
- Independence: When parents work, kids get a chance to make some choices on their own, which can do wonders for their confidence.
- Role models: By working, you show your child the power of hard work, dedication, and chasing your dreams.
So, working mama, take a deep breath, release the guilt, and know that there are benefits of childcare for working parents.
Childcare isn’t meant to be a substitute for your love — nothing could ever compare — but it can be a support system for both you and your child.
While your child’s building friendships, learning new skills, and exploring their world under the care of dedicated professionals, you can rediscover your own energy and focus, ready to conquer your workday with renewed passion.
Remember, Childcare Choices can help guide you through every step of this journey.
It’s got all the info so you can see at a glance what government help you might be eligible for.
And you might be surprised what you can get!
Because ultimately, this isn’t a choice between “them” and “you”, it’s about doing what’s best for you as a family, whatever that means.
And if you want to talk to other working mums abut their experiences with childcare, there’s a whole Community of women to chat with on Peanut.
Whatever you decide, mama, it’s the right choice.