Daycare centers are a popular option for working parents. They provide a very necessary service within the framework of a registered company, but you will need to decide what is best for the child as well as taking into consideration affordability and convenience.
Hiring a baby sitter may have a number of advantages over sending your child to childcare, depending on your particular situation.
A baby or young child will naturally feel more comfortable in her own home. She can take naps in her own bed, cuddling her favourite teddy bear, while staring at familiar things in her room.
There will be a much better child-to-carer ratio with a babysitter, even if she is looking after several children at once, your child will get more individual attention than at a childcare centre where one carer might be looking from between 15 to 25 children. Your babysitter can read your child her favourite books, prepare food she likes, play the games she loves. Often a healthy and loving bond can form between child and baby sitter, such a bond is unlikely in a childcare centre.
While driving back home after dropping my daughter off at school I was, as usual, listening to the BBC.
The announcer said they were about to air a story about myopia in Asian children and so I immediately pulled over and turned on my flashing "Park Anywhere" lights which - as all good citizens understand - give us the inalienable right to, well, stop anywhere. Just drive your child to school one day and you will see what I mean.
Anyway the story began, and I whipped out my trusty iPhone (thanks Steve), pressed the Voice Memo icon and started recording.
I am a bit of a sun worshipper myself. I believe sunlight cures everything. Kills germs, burns off the fog of depression, energizes the mind, produces vitamin D, gives the skin a nice tone... and other stuff like that.
So when the announcer said that the cause for high rates of myopia in children from Japan, China and Singapore was that our kids did not get enough exposure to sunlight, I was riveted. Even the honking of the drivers behind me couldn't distract me. I don't what was wrong with them, I had my "Park Anywhere" lights on.
So when the first rays of that beautiful sunlight streamed through my window this morning to wake me up, I knew that I had to get that Voice Memo file off my iPhone and into this blog so that I could share it with my readers.
Here it is, but it seems the audio won't work in Windows Media Player (thanks Steve). (EDIT: I got it fixed, please see below)
As it happens, it doesn't matter all that much because this morning The Straights Times carried the same story. It is reproduced here. You will just miss out on that crisp BBC accent.
I did a little more Google-ing and found that there is quite a lot of evidence from experimental research which supports the study. One of them was interesting because it involved newly hatched chickens. Some were exposed to sunlight for a number of hours per day and others were kept inside with varying amounts of carefully measured light levels.
My favourite part was that one of the controls involved fitting the chicks with sunglasses. Cool chicks in sunglasses eh?
Interestingly, the sunglasses (I don't think they were REAL sunglasses), did not affect the amount of myopia the chicks suffered later on in life, but the ones exposed to sunlight avoided myopia.