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:
*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?
This article is not intended 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 considers what is in a child’s BEST INTERESTS, not what is simply “good enough”.
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.
The vast majority of research that shows childcare is beneficial to children is research that has been done 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, institutionalized care and 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 read our review and feel free to comment.