Day Care Factsheet

Information On Day Care with Questions =)

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Psychology Factsheets
www.curriculumpress.co.uk Number 51
Day Care
This Factsheet summarises research into the effect Research into day care
of day care on a child's cognitive and social Research has focused on the effects of day care on the child's
development. Some research studies demonstrate cognitive and social development.
that day care has a positive effect on a child's
development; others suggest that day care has a What is cognitive development?
less favourable outcome. A plausible explanation "The cognitive (mental) changes that take place
for these contradictory findings relates to the quality and as a person grows older" (Flanagan, 2000).
consistency of care. Other factors, such as individual differences in
personality, can also impact on a child's day care experience.
What is social development?
What is day care? "The development of sociability where the
It is where the child is temporarily cared for by someone who is not child learns how to relate to others and
a family member and is not well-known to the child. Care of the child process of socialization in which child acquires
frequently takes place outside the home (e.g., in nurseries, within knowledge and skills appropriate to his/her
the workplace, schools, or churches). Alternatively, the child may society" (Flanagan, 2003).
be cared for by a child minder, either within the child's home or the
child minders' home. Research into this area has found no clear
answers; research supporting day care has found it to be related to
positive outcomes for the child, while research against day care
suggests that the disruption of continuous care is harmful for the
child.
Table 1: Key studies into the effects of day care on cognitive development
Researcher Aim Participants Procedure Findings Evaluation Positive/negative
& year effect of day care on
development?
Andersson To examine 100 children The families were School performance Those who entered day care Suggests high
(1992) the long- from lower- & first contacted was highest in at age one had higher quality care has
term middle-class when children were children who socioeconomic status, this positive outcomes.
effects of homes, and between 3- & 4- entered day care could be why the children
day care. one-parent years-old. Early before age one. did better.
families. childcare School performance
This study was conducted
arrangements were lowest in those with
in Sweden which operates a
recorded. Socio- no day care.
special parental leave
emotional
system and gives day care a
competence and IQ
lot of financial support.
were reassessed at
Thus results could be due
age 8 & 13.
to stronger attachment
bonds and high quality care
not available in all countries.
Operation To provide Children from The program After a year in Unless the program was This program
Headstart children deprived involved exposing Headstart, children followed with other special proved to have
(1960s) from low- backgrounds children to typically gained ten programs throughout the positive effects.
income entered the stimulation they IQ points, were less child's education then the Even though initial
families program aged would lack in their likely to be placed initial gains largely disap- gains in IQ may
with a rich 3-4 years old. family lives, such as in special classes peared. disappear later on,
stimulating a wide vocabulary. and were more likely the children still
environment to obtain a high benefited from a
to improve school certificate. better standard of
their The children were life later on.
cognitive also less likely to be
development unemployed as
adults.
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Day Care Psychology Factsheet
Table 2: Key studies into the effects of day care on social development
Researcher Aim Participants Procedure Findings Evaluation Positive/negative
& year effect of day care
on development?
NICHD To examine 1000 infants Mothers were Infants with When others factors Suggests no effect
report the effects and their interviewed and extensive day care were combined with of day care on
(1997) of day care mothers the children were experiences did not day care experiences, development
on observed at home exhibit any…read more

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Day Care Psychology Factsheet
Example Exam Questions
(a) Describe ONE research study that has investigated the effects of day care on children's social OR cognitive development
(6 marks)
Do exactly as the question asks; choose just one research study for either research into social or cognitive development (e.g.,
cognitive development: Andersson (1992) or Vandell et al. (1990); social development: Schweinhart et al. (1993) or NICHD report
(2001)). Do not waste time doing both as you will not receive any credit for doing so.…read more

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Day Care Psychology Factsheet
Worksheet: Day Care
Name
1. What do psychologists mean by the term `cognitive development'?
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2. What do psychologists mean by the term `social development'?
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3. What has research indicated about the effect of day care on a child's cognitive and social development? Name two studies that will
support your answer.
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4.…read more

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