Childcare studies

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Childcare studies
65
Fri, 08-08-2008 - 7:37pm

3 New Studies Assess Effects of Child Care

* Sign In to E-Mail This
* Printer-Friendly
* Single-Page
* Reprints
* Save Article

Article Tools Sponsored By
By TAMAR LEWIN
Published: November 1, 2005

For most working parents, no other issue is so fraught with worry as the choice of child care. In a field long plagued by overheated headlines and complicated political overtones, three new studies offer some solid information on the pros and cons of different arrangements.

Two bolster research that found that long hours in group child care are linked to better reading and math skills but worse social skills and more behavioral problems. The third suggests that children in child care centers are safer than those who receive care in private homes, whether in a neighbor's home or by a nanny in the child's own home.

Four years ago, the nation's most ambitious and longest-running child care study sparked a firestorm with its findings that 4½-year-olds who had spent more than 30 hours a week in child care were more demanding, more aggressive and more noncompliant than others, regardless of the type or quality of care, the family's socioeconomic status or the sensitivity of the mother's parenting.

Now a new report from that research - the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's Study of Early Child Care - has tracked the same children through early elementary school and found that by third grade, those who had spent long hours in child care continued to score higher in math and reading skills and that their higher likelihood of aggressive behavior had dissipated. But it also found that they still had poorer work habits and social skills.

Researchers cautioned that the findings should not be a cause of alarm, since the effects of child care were found to be small.

"It isn't that these kids are more likely to have clinical levels of behavior problems," said Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, a professor of child development at Columbia University. "You're getting a slight uptick, but it's still in the normal range."

Generally, the effects of child care were much smaller than the effects of good or bad parenting.

"Virtually across the board, the effects of parenting are greater than the effects of child care, so some people might say we don't need to worry about the small effects of child care," said Cathryn Booth-LaForce of the University of Washington, a researcher on the study.

"But child care affects so many children that for society at large, even small effects are important," Professor Booth-LaForce added. "We have to consider whether we're creating a generation of children who have slightly less self-control, slightly more behavior problems, and whether teachers will have to spend a little more time on classroom management and a little less on instruction."

A separate study, being released today and based on a nationally representative sample of more than 14,000 kindergartners, found that while center-based day care programs modestly benefited middle-class children in early language and mathematics learning, youngsters from poor families experienced double those gains.

"Compared to many homes, preschool centers are richer settings in terms of enriched language, reading and math," said Bruce Fuller, a co-author of this report, "The Influence of Preschool Centers on Children's Development Nationwide: How Much Is Too Much?"

The report, by sociologists at Stanford and the University of California, found that cognitive skills in prereading and math were strongest when children entered a center-based program from age 2 to 3.

But it also found that on average, the earlier a child enters center-based care, the slower the pace of social development. The greatest effect was among high-income children. Youngsters who were from families with income of at least $66,000 and who spent more than 30 hours a week in center-based care had the weakest social skills - including diminished levels of cooperation, sharing and motivated engagement in classroom tasks, along with greater aggression - compared with similar children who remained at home with a parent.

Another study, being published today in The American Sociological Review, is apparently the first broad research into safety in child care. It found that the rate of death among children receiving care in private homes was 16 times that of children in child care centers.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/01/national/01child.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

Photobucket
Photobucket

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Tue, 09-02-2008 - 9:46am

By the way, I

suzjuly6.jpg picture by LadyCaribou

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-29-2008
Fri, 08-29-2008 - 8:52pm

It seems that middle class kids are most adversely affected (socially skills and aggression) compared to the care they can get from their parents, and that the lower SES kids are positively affected (academically) compared to the care they can get from their parents, so combined, the overall affects of day care are minimal.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Sat, 08-23-2008 - 5:31pm
I wasn't saying this one said parents shouldn't send their child to daycare.
summer 2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 08-23-2008 - 4:43pm

I take studies with a big grain of salt. Or rather, every time I feel the urge to swallow a study whole, I retrieve my yellowed, thumbed copy of "How To Lie With Statistics" by Darrell Huff. This seminal work was written in 1954 when people weren't buried as deep in stats as we are today. What he wrote back then is

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-20-2001
Sat, 08-23-2008 - 8:58am

LOL, yes the kids do

 

Linda - wife, mother, grandmum                     &nb

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Wed, 08-20-2008 - 1:32pm

" I am sure I could find a ton of studies that support me sending my child to daycare. "

I don't think *this* article/study concludes one SHOULDN'T send their child to daycare, but rather highlights the differences in the types of childcare and the need for parents to have quality choices from which to chose.

Photobucket
Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Wed, 08-20-2008 - 1:11pm

I have a love-hate relationship with studies.

summer 2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-2007
Thu, 08-14-2008 - 1:42am

What you can't do is just say "They didn't study MY kid" so I'm not LISTENING....

Sure they can. As nearly as I can tell, they did, and all your "nuh-uh!!!!!!"'s in the world can't change the fact that they did, in fact, just say, "They didn't study MY kid so I'm not LISTENING...."

In fact, I defy you to prove that they can't do that....

~~~~~~~~~

Kitty


"BTW, I hate Lifetime. Their movies will suck you in and all of a sudden you've watched 3 in a row, used every tissue in the house and started on the toilet paper, there's no ice cream or popcorn left, and your IQ has dropped 29 points.", by the awesomeness that is zippinpipin

~~~~~~~~~

Kitty

"BTW, I hate Lifetime. Their movies will suck you in and all of a sudden you've watched 3 in a row, used every tissue in t

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Wed, 08-13-2008 - 8:44pm

"The question should be "How do we come up with a comprehensive, high quality childcare program?" rather than "Does childcare help or hurt children?"

I agree! Unlike the cancer scenario, I liken it to studies on the effects of divorce on children. Divorce, like working parents, is a fact of life for some families. Why dwell on the negatives, but rather, lets use studies like these to say, "Yes, childcare/divorce can be done with success and according to our findings, here's how..."

Photobucket
Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Wed, 08-13-2008 - 7:24pm

There is something good about these studies: they tease apart the various aspects of different types of childcare. This is a far cry from "othercare is bad for your child" or "othercare helps your child do better in math."


I really appreciate the efforts of researchers who accept that working parents are a reality and try to figure out, with what tools they have, what makes a good childcare program.

Pages