November 16, 2022 – Working parents will breathe a sigh of relief knowing that spending time in childcare centers Longer toddlers were not at greater risk for behavior problems.
in a new study Published in the journal Child Development, Researchers looked at data on more than 10,000 preschoolers in seven studies from five countries in North America and Europe. Longer time spent in center-based child care was not associated with overt antisocial behavior in toddlers and preschoolers, the study found.
Based on reports from teachers and parents, international investigators found no increase in “externalizing” behaviors such as Bullying, provocation, hitting, biting, kicking, pulling hair, even fidgeting.
Considering that trends in child care use and parental workforce participation are likely to remain stable, this is reassuring, ” wrote a team led by Catalina Rey-Guerra, a Ph.D. candidate at Boston College in Massachusetts.
The study also found no evidence that socioeconomic status, such as household income and mother’s education level, modifies the impact of time children spend in center-based care.
Far from exacerbating behavior, nursing centers can provide stimulation with lasting learning benefits.
“Given the existing evidence that ECCE is beneficial for children’s long-term achievement, I think our findings illustrate both the immediate positive impact that childcare attendance may have on children and the ability of their parents to participate in the workforce without worrying about the indirect positive effects of having any detrimental effects on the child,” Rey-Guerra said.
Policies to ensure access to quality childcare should be an international priority, she said.
Nearly 40 For years, researchers have debated whether time in center-based child care directly causes children to develop behavioral problems.
“The disagreement has been difficult to resolve because the vast majority of the research done has been purely ‘relevant,’ as to why children who spend a lot of time in center care may be at risk outside of center care itself, leaving Many alternative explanations,” Rey-Guerra said.
The study also relied on some U.S. studies
“Our goal is to improve research and provide rigorous testing to determine the increase in children in center care whether time in the middle leads to an increase in problem behaviors, and using data from seven studies in five countries,” she continued.
Research so far has been mixed and inconclusive, with concerns lingering after some harms have been raised. A 2001 analysis For example, 17% of children were found to spend more than 30 hours per week exhibiting aggressive behavior in child care, while these behaviors were only seen in 8% of children who spent less time Appear.
but other studies such as A 2015 study from Norway found little effect on behavior by age or length of care stay. And research from Canada found that aggressive behavior was more Those who attend group day care.
Multiple explanations for bad behavior have been proposed, from parent-child isolation to young children imitating their parenting partners Attachment in destructive behavior.
But “most of these hypotheses have not been proven correct,” Rey-Guerra said. “However, there is some evidence that the risk increases if children spend continuous time throughout childhood in classrooms with large numbers of young children, such as when centers exceed the recommended student-teacher ratio.” (Infant ratio 1:4 , 1:7 for toddlers and 1:8 for preschoolers.)
Carol Weitzman , MD, a pediatrician in the Division of Developmental Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, warns that parental leave and family policies vary widely by country, so one person’s experience may not necessarily apply to another.
“But that’s what makes the study so,” said Weitzman, who was not involved in the study. International study.
Regardless of care setting – whether center-based, other non-parent Nursing or parental care – quality is key, and adverse effects are more likely to occur in children with unmet needs.
“Then you may see maladaptive and stressful behaviors such as aggression, tantrums and emotional dysregulation,” Weitzman said.
She noted that preschoolers are developmentally ready to negotiate relationships such as sharing, taking turns playing with toys,
and describe emotions and negotiate increasingly complex social situations.” It can also help preschoolers develop friendships and understand the experiences of others.
So why does this question continue to ask about the adverse effects of center-based care?
“One must wonder if there is an underlying bias that children without mothers will It’s worse, and it’s going to be a threat to attachment,” Weitzman said. “When women make up roughly 50 percent of the U.S. workforce, our questions should be how to ensure quality and affordable care for all children, and how to create and enforce child-friendly parental leave policies,” she added, adding that the study The other four countries in the ranking all rank higher than the United States for paid parental and maternity leave.
” actually , compared to 40 other developed countries, we are last,” she said.
In her opinion, all types of child care programs should have the same mission and standards— — all aimed at promoting the optimal development of young people.