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The effects of early day care.

Having a child is a wonderful thing but has its challenges as well. As a parent you want what is best for your child, what would be beneficial to his/her growth, which you don’t really know until it is proven otherwise. As a working mother of a 15 month old baby, I faced the dilemma of whether a day care would be a good choice for my child; is it going to be beneficial for such a young baby and what are the effects.

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care was designed to answer this question and found three major results. First of all, it was found that day care does not affect infants’ attachment security towards their mothers. However, the quality of the day care plays a huge role on this, along with the quality of the relationship that the child has with his/her mother/caregiver. For example, infants in low-quality child care whose mothers are low in sensitivity are less likely to be securely attached. In addition, the effect of day care on cognitive development depends on how the quality of out-of-home care compares to what children would have experienced at home. In general, children from low-socioeconomic families benefit from high-quality day care, whereas outcomes for other children are variable. Also children who spend more than 30 hours in day care during the first year of life score lower on tests of cognitive development than the children who have experienced no out-of-home care. Furthermore, children who spend a great deal of time in nonparental care are more disobedient and aggressive. However, the stability of out-of-home care may be more important than the amount of time children spend away from their parents. As a result, behavioral problems are primarily associated with unstable child-care arrangements.

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