I read the studies and I don’t know what to think, but I feel grateful.
SiteRev.com is poised to have a very good month thanks to my parents’ willingness to watch Jonah. I’m so glad that he’s able to spend a day with his grandparents rather than having to hang out at daycare. Not to impune all daycare centers, because there are some fine ones out there I’m certain, but the statistics on it aren’t exactly confidence-building. The last study I read (see article about it) concluded that any amount of daycare even at the best of daycare centers was detrimental to the child’s development. That sounds worse than it isÂ—there are many levels of “detrimental” and most kids turn out fine regardlessÂ—but, well, here’s a quote from the above-reference article on the NICHD study:
- …Researchers have found a strong relationship between the total number of hours in daycare and problem behaviors; moreover, the negative effects continue into kindergarten. The problem behaviors could be classified as aggressive: bullying, fighting, and defiance. The negative effect was present regardless of quality or type of care. It applied to boys and girls, rich and poor. In addition, children who had been in care 30 hours or more per week were nearly twice as likely to have high problem-behavior scores in kindergarten as children in ten hours or less of care (17 percent compared to 9 percent).
Admittedly, I don’t know how much to make of this. I suspect there’s a balance that could be achieved, a line that could walked, that would mitigate most if not all of the problems found in the study. I can even envision scenarios where a little quality daycare could be a beneficial thing. It’s no substitute for parent-child interaction, of course, but as an occasional supplement it seems like it would be potentially just another interesting experience for the kid. But the truth is that I honestly don’t know what to think about the subject.