October 13, 2016

Childcare advantages and disadvantages

Is childcare good or bad for my child?

We often get asked questions like: is childcare good for my child’s socialisation? What harm could kindergarten do for my family? Is my child spending too much time in daycare? What about cortisol levels in children in care? What about increased aggression in childcare?  So we undertook a literature review and would like to make it available to you here:

Childcare advantages and disadvantages

Childcare or homecare?

*Please note, you are welcome to quote from this article but please seek permission from the author first and reference it correctly. A big thank you to all those budding early childhood teacher students who have already sought permission!

What does the best childcare research say?

Recent reports such as those from Family First, and the New Zealand Children’s Commissioner, “Through their lens” add considerable weight to what we discovered in doing our literature review.   We do not wish to give parents who must work a guilt trip.  Of course many children who attend childcare full time grow up to be positive, responsible, contributing citizens in society.  But this report, and others we have referred to are considering what is in a child’s BEST INTERESTS, not what is simply “good enough”, or “my child survived”. We want all children to have every opportunity to THRIVE and that’s what this literature review is about.  Basically, we ask, if children are BEST served by an attentive, responsive parent, then governments should be targeting their policies to achieve this.  Of course, there are a growing number of children in New Zealand who sadly don’t have responsive, attentive parents. These are the children who should be receiving the funding to attend childcare, while those parents who want to provide nurturing care themselves, should be given the opportunity to do so.  The vast majority of research that shows childcare is beneficial to children is research that has been done on neglected, underprivileged or lower socio-economic groups.  To assume that the same gains can be achieved for middle class average families is a huge step and one that research does not support.  Further, most research is not based on children in full time, institutionalized care and many of the controls needed to make the research of a quality standard are missing.  Please read our review and feel free to comment.

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