Studies into the effects of daycare

Just a few research studies into daycare.


Aim: to determine the developmental impact of daycare on 100 children aged 3-4

  • Children came from lower and middle class backgrounds
  • Some attended daycare and some did not
  • Assessed at ages 4, 8 and 13 for cognitive, social and emotional development using an IQ test


  • Development was highest among children who had entered daycare before the age of 1, regardless of background
  • Lowest among children who did not attend daycare

Conclusion: Daycare is beneficial for development.

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Aim: To investigate the effects of daycare experiences on attachment type

  • 149 infants studied - came from stable, middle-class backgrounds
  • Parents were interviewed when the babies were 3, 9 and 12 months old  to investigate childcare arrangements
  • Infants sorted into groups based on duration of daycare they recieved
  • Assessed using the Strange Situation (Ainsworth)


  • More infants who spent long periods in daycare were insecurely attached than infants who recieved little or no daycare

Conclusion: Extensive non-maternal care in the first year of life increases the risk of the infant forming insecure attachments

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BORGE ET AL (2004)

Aim: to investigate the impact of daycare on aggression

  • Studied over 3000 Canadian children, comparing those who attended daycare with those kept at home
  • Mothers filled out a questionnaire rating their children on how often they physically hurt other children, and how they responded when they themselves were accidentally hurt


  • Children kept at home  generally displayed more aggression than those who attended daycare.

Conclusion: Attending daycare reduces the risk of aggressive behaviour in children, possibly due to increased socialisation with children of the same age.

HOWEVER, some kept at home also came from disadvantaged backgrounds. This may have contributed to aggression

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Aim: To investigate the effect of daycare on the ability to form peer relationships

  • Studied 150 children aged 2-3 from different social classes
  • Some attended daycare; some did not


  • Children who attended daycare had more advanced peer relationships than children not attending daycare

Conclusion: Daycare is beneficial in forming relationships, possibly due to increased socialisation with peers of the same age

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Thank you! Having the notes like this has helped me immensely!

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