The Effects of Day Care on a Child's Social Development

An extensive study on whether day care is harmful for children and how to improve it inc. research and evaluations.

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Hannah Warwick
The Effects of Day Care on Children's Social Development
The implications of day care on childrens social development,
including the effects on aggression and peer relations
The implications of research into attachment and day care for child
care practices
My Views on Day Care
I believe that putting a child in day care is highly
beneficial in enhancing children's social development,
helping them learn skills early, for example, making
friends, sharing and play. Along with social
advancements, most playgroups, for example, are also
beneficial for educational purposes, teaching the alphabet
and increasing speech development. However, keeping a
child in day care for long hours, most
week days could damage the
attachment between the child and carer. Furthermore,
children may become disobedient and aggressive if
following others at day care, maybe because of not
wanting to share, for example. In addition, if the day care
is not good quality, maybe the child would not be
getting sufficient attention, then the child could become
withdrawn and it could jeopardise their future
attachments and future learning. Although, for those in
poverty, day care could actually be better care than the
carer could provide, meaning day care would be the
best option.
Bowlby's Views on Day Care
Bowlby (1953) proposed the maternal deprivation hypothesis stating the
belief that if an infant was unable to develop a ,,warm, intimate, and
continuous relationship with his mother (or permanent mother-substitute)
then the child would have difficulty forming relationships with other
people and would be at risk of behavioural disorders.
Bowlby raised fears that separating a child from their mother would have
adverse effects on the child's development
and could even be a cause of delinquency.
Thereby meaning if a child was put in day
care their relationship with their mother
would be jeopardised, causing damage to
forming future relationships and effecting
future behaviour, resulting in behavioural

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Hannah Warwick
The Effects of Day Care on Children's Social Development
Social development involves the growth of childrens abilities to interact
with others and behave in a positive social manner, such as comforting,
helping and sharing.
Effects of Day Care on Aggression
Sammons et al (2003) found that there is
slight risk of an increased antisocial
behaviour when children spend more
than 20 hrs a week in nursery. The risk
increases significantly when they spend
more than 40hrs in care.…read more

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Hannah Warwick
Baker et al (2005) analyzed 33,000 children of
two-parent families and found that post-
universal day care, aggression among 2 to 4
year olds rose by 24% in Quebec compared to
1% in Canada. The parents' wellbeing also
declined as well as a greater incidence of
hostile parenting and dissatisfaction with
spouses.…read more

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Hannah Warwick
time children reached 12. The study suggests that there are
more important issues than the working mother when
dealing with raising children. The issues include the quality of
the parent-child relationship and the quality of the day care.
The strengths of this study are that there was a large sample
group and children were examined at various ages meaning
its more reliable. The study also raised issues about more
important issues, giving helpful advice. Furthermore, it
furthered Clarke-Stewarts study.…read more

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Hannah Warwick
The weakness of this study is that there was a small sample of
children used however it was a longitudinal study.
Longitudinal studies are often more reliable because they
test the children over a long period of time giving more valid
results however it also means there could be a larger drop-out
rate giving bias results.…read more

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Hannah Warwick
remained unchanged. The results show that a modest
intervention programme directed at improving care giving
practices can improve attachment security of children in day
The Effects of Day Care on Children's Social Development
Having reviewed the research into day care I would
advise a friend or relative with children to make use of day
care.…read more


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