Do Day Care Center Affect Child Development?
While care given by parents is unparalleled, conditions often need some parents seek part-time or full-time day care services. Parents should take special care and pay heed to every detail while selecting the right child care center for their kid(s). Time spent in the day care definitely affects a child’s development, whether positively or negatively – depends on the overall quality of the care center.
Effects of Day Care on Child Development
- Emotional Development – Young kids in day care setting show several negative behaviors like crying, screaming or hiding from caregivers. Such kids often develop insecure attachment issues. On the contrary, other kids adjust to the environment quickly and enjoy the new space and company, hardly reacting to their parents’ exit. These children feel more secure and have less or no separation anxiety.
- Social Development – The “Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development,” or SECCYD conducted by The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) between 1991 to 2007 reads that children in child care settings display a greater capacity to develop relationships with peers and adults, than children who did not attend day care. Paradoxically, those in day care exhibits more constructive interactions with their moms than kids in other settings.
- Intellectual & Linguistic – Children in a quality day care center have higher mental functioning and proper vocabulary growth than those in other settings. A research paper – ‘Relating Quality of Center-Based Child Care to Early Cognitive and Language Development Longitudinally’ underlines the importance of a well-structured child: adult ratios, teacher’s education and nurturing environment for the cognitive and language development of children in the care center. This is the evidence that providers should try to improve the quality of child care to enhance early development of the kids.
- Behavioral Changes – More hours spent in the child care have been related to increased behavior issues, starting at age 2 and covering early middle childhood. Additionally, early center-care experience is associated with many more behavioral problems. The negative effects of child care hours in the NICHD Study have been found to be more strongly related to externalizing behavior in early childhood, when children received inferior care from their caregivers and when children spent a greater proportion of time with a group of peers that was larger in size than recommended by experts.
On the contrary, children in high quality child care setting are categorized by better relationships with their care providers have subsequently better relation with their teachers in school. Developing positive relationships in early day care are important for children’s social and cognitive growth and their success in school.
The Bottom Line
How do child care center affect a child’s development, entirely depends on the quality of the day care center you have picked for your little one. Superior quality child care is linked with better cognitive and language development, positive peer relations, obedience with adults, fewer behavior problems, and better mother–child relations.
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