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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 below.

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.

This article is not intended to give parents 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 considers what is in a child’s BEST INTERESTS, not what is simply “good enough”.

Thrive or Survive?

We want all children to have every opportunity to THRIVE and that’s what this literature review is about. Basically, we asked, if children are BEST served by an attentive, responsive parent, then why aren’t governments targeting their policies to achieve this?

Of course, there are a growing number of children in New Zealand who don’t have responsive, attentive parents. These are the children who should be receiving childcare funding, while those parents who want to provide nurturing care themselves, should be given the opportunity and finances to do so. Tax breaks for stay at home parents may be a more effective use of government funds than subsidising childcare.

Comparing ‘Apples with Applies’

Most research showing childcare as beneficial to children has been focused on underprivileged or lower socio-economic groups.  To assume that the same gains can be achieved for middle class families is a huge leap and one that research does not support.  Further, most research is not based on children in full time care. Many of the controls needed to make the research of a quality standard are missing.  Comparing apples with apples is a foundational research rule. This article summarises the keystone reserach papers and points out their weaknesses.

Please click below to read our report and feel free to comment.

Childcare advantages and disadvantages


*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!

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