· One study looking at the effects of daycare was conducted by the NICHD. The aim was to look at the effect of daycare on children.
· 1200 children were studied over a long period of time – from birth until they started school. Various methods were used, such as observations, interviews and surveys. This produced both qualitative and quantitative data.
· Children who spent a long time in daycare from a very early age were found to have many more behavioural problems than those who spent less time in daycare. The problems were classed as such by parents and teachers of the children. This indicates that the length of time spent in daycare can affect the behaviour of a child. The type of daycare was also found to affect the child’s behaviour and development. Children in nursery were found to have better cognitive and language development, however they were also more aggressive and disobedient. The quality of daycare also affected the child’s development and behaviour. Low quality daycare was found to have a negative impact on children whose mothers were not as responsive. Good quality daycares was found to have a positive effect on cognitive and language development. A daycare centre was classed as good quality or bad quality based on the responsiveness and attentiveness of staff and how stimulating the environment was.
· It was concluded that for daycare to be beneficial, it should be of high quality, nursery type daycare which the child enters for a short period when not very young.
ü A strength of the NICHD study is that it used longitudinal methodology on a large sample of children. This means that the findings are likely to be generalisable. The same group of children are followed, reducing participant variables so the findings are likely to be valid. The length of time from which the children were studied, and the age of the children may mean that any demand characteristics are eliminated, as they could not be maintained over a long period of…