How many days in care is the best for my child?

  • Date: 11 February 2019
  • Category: General
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Gathering and processing all the information to make sure you’re making the most informed decision for your child’s education, physical development and overall happiness is a challenging and often ongoing process!

We know that Early Learning is essential for children to thrive during their transition to school and beyond, but as Early Learning Professionals, parents often ask the question, “How many days a week should my child attend to ensure they’re receiving the benefits?”

Knowing how many care days to use is often based on individual circumstances, but to support your family to make the best informed decision we’ve provided information based on current research below.

Hours per week
A long-term study conducted in the US indicated that a minimum of 15 hours per week was necessary for children to experience cognitive outcomes. In addition to this, the study found that these outcomes were optimised when children started care before the age of four. The study recognised that countries are offering closer to 20 and 30 hours per week.

Length of years
Research has shown that participating in an early childhood education program for two years, rather than one, has a significant positive influence on children’s outcomes and children who attend early childhood education for two years or more also perform better late in school.

Full-time or part-time care?
The same study indicated that an extended period of preschool experience on a part-time basis is more likely to be advantageous than a shorter time period of full-time provision.

Benefits out way cost in Early Learning Education
Based off these findings children enrolled in care for 2-3 experience long-term benefits as well as growing socially and making the transition to school easier.
The benefits of participating in high quality early childhood education are far-reaching and long-term. Improved school performance is not the only benefit! 

Pascoe. S AM & Professor Brennan, D. (2017) Report of the review to achieve educational excellence in Australian schools through early childhood interventions. Available here: