Child Psychology - How does day care affect child development?

Child psychology key issue

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  • Created on: 11-04-14 12:27
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What are the effects of Day Care on
child development?
Day care: any situation where a child is cared for by someone other than the child's legal
guardian, for some part of the day.
It's often used so that the parents or guardian of the child can go to work.
Short period of time e.g. a crèche; or every day of the week e.g. full time nursery.
Other forms of day care include nannies, babysitters and child minders
Day care is thought to affect social, cognitive and behavioural development
Positive Effects
Followed 128 Swedish children in day care until they were 13.
Those in day care scored higher intellectually and socio-emotionally than those of a
control group.
Social skills were higher in children who were in a nursery
Negative Effects
Was a longitudinal study following 1200 children from birth to when they started school
to find out the effects of day care.
Found that the longer a child spends in day care, the more likely they are to develop
behavioural problems e.g. aggression and disobedience.
If in a nursery type day care, they would have cognitive and language improvements, but
may also develop behavioural problems.
Quality of day care is important. High quality depends on the responsiveness of staff,
how attentive staff are, and how stimulating the environment is. High quality could lead
to cognitive and language improvement
Belsky and Rovine:
Studied 149 infants in their first year of life to see the effects of non-maternal care.
The parents were maritally intact and of a middle class background.
Used interviews about the background of day care use, and the strange situation to
collect data.
The children were split into 3 attachment types, secure, anxious avoidant and anxious

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Those who spent 20+ hours had more insecure attachments than those less than 20
Found that those in nurseries were most aggressive.
Those with mothers were most affectionate, and had the great vocalisation.
Factors influencing effects of Day Care
Length and duration
Staff:child ratio
Number of Staff rotations
Flaws with Day care research
Doesn't report the age that a child starts day care, therefore intellectual measures may
be invalid.
Very few studies look at the long term effects of day care.…read more


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