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      The benefits of choosing daycare

      By age five, 90 percent of the brain's wiring has been set or life, according to Pediatric Studies. How it's set depends on the child's early experiences, such as daycare and preschool. And sending your child to daycare or preschool can be an emotional, daunting decision.

      But finding out the facts before you move forward can help make the decision easier.

      From birth to age five, children have been described by doctors as "sponges," continually learning and exploring the world around them.

      "Throughout my time here, from 9 o'clock in the morning, until 5 o'clock at night, we are constantly learning. We are constantly working on language and literacy, social development, emotional development, physical development," said Jacqueline Rule, Lead Preschool Teacher & Assistant Program Director at Chocolay Children's Center in Harvey.

      Numerous studies have been done on the benefits of bringing children to daycare, as opposed to keeping them at home with relatives.

      "When you send a child off to preschool or daycare, they're also experiencing their peers. They're being exposed to different cultures, different norms. They become a part of a community," said Deb Dupras, Program Director for Marquette's Great Start Regional Child Care Resource Center.

      Some studies show that high quality childcare and preschool can increase overall academic achievement in kids, increase graduation rates, and reduce the need for special education.

      "I think that in a situation like this, there are tons of examples, and there are tons of opportunities for children to grow and to learn, based on the children they are coming to daycare with," Rule said.

      And a study done by the state of Michigan shows the state can save as much as $16 million on welfare, criminal justice, special education and other social expenses for every dollar spent on high quality services for low-income children.

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