Skip to comments.Study: Day care ups odds of school behavior woes
Posted on 03/26/2007 2:41:17 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
A much-anticipated report from the largest and longest-running study of American child care has found that keeping a preschooler in a day care center for a year or more increased the likelihood that the child would become disruptive in class and that the effect persisted through the sixth grade.
The finding held up regardless of the child's sex or family income, and regardless of the quality of the day care center. With more than 2 million U.S. preschoolers attending day care, the increased disruptiveness very likely contributes to the load on teachers who must manage large classrooms, the authors argue.
On the positive side, they also found that time spent in high-quality day care centers was correlated with higher vocabulary scores through elementary school.
The research, being reported today as part of the federally financed Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, tracked more than 1,300 children in various arrangements, including staying home with a parent; being cared for by a nanny or a relative; or attending a large day care center. Once the subjects reached school, the study used teacher ratings of each child to assess behaviors like interrupting class, teasing and bullying.
The findings are certain to feed a long-running debate about day care, experts say.
"I have accused the study authors of doing everything they could to make this negative finding go away, but they couldn't do it," said Sharon Landesman Ramey, director of the Georgetown University Center on Health and Education. "They knew this would be disturbing news for parents ... if that's what you're finding, then you have to report it."
The debate reached a high pitch in the late 1980s, during the so-called day care wars, when social scientists questioned whether it was better for mothers to work or stay home. Day care workers and their clients, mostly working parents, argued it was the quality of the care that mattered and not the setting. But the new report affirms similar results from smaller studies in the past decade suggesting setting matters.
"This study makes it clear that it is not just quality that matters," said Jay Belsky, one of the study's principal authors, who helped set off the debate in 1986 with a paper suggesting that nonparental child care could cause developmental problems. Belsky was then at Pennsylvania State University and has since moved to the University of London.
That the troublesome behaviors lasted through at least sixth grade, he said, should raise a broader question: "So what happens in classrooms, schools, playgrounds and communities when more and more children, at younger and younger ages, spend more and more time in centers, many that are indisputably of limited quality?"
Report has its critics
Others experts were quick to question the results. The researchers could not randomly assign children to one kind of care or another; parents chose the care that suited them. That meant there was no control group, so determining cause and effect was not possible.
The study did not take into account employee turnover, a reality in many day care centers, said Marci Young, deputy director of the Center for the Child Care Workforce, which represents day care workers.
The study, a $200 million project financed by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, recruited families in 10 cities from hospitals, after mothers gave birth. The researchers regularly contacted the mothers to find out where their children were being cared for, and visited those caregivers to see how attentive and how skilled they were.
Every year spent in day care centers for at least 10 hours per week was associated with a 1 percent higher score on a standardized assessment of problem behaviors completed by teachers, said Dr. Margaret Burchinal, a co-author of the study and a psychologist at the University of North Carolina.
Sounds like you have issues about stayng home with your kids. No need to knock Cath26 down. My wife works and I'm grateful and my children are grateful she does. I have a woman working for me whose husband lost his job. She felt bad one day because she couldn't put her daughter on the bus the first day of school. I told her she has absolutely no reason to feel bad or guilty. She is supporting her family in a very meaningful way. She is going to work to provide health insurance and pay the mortgage, where would your family be if you didn't show up to work? She was doing what has to be done.
"They've actually convinced themselves that the responsibility of child-rearing is demeaning to women -- never taking into account the organizational, psychological and motivational skills that caring stay-at-home mothers acquire"
well it's easier to look down on someone than to find a reason to look up to them.
You're a moron
that's good news.
Maybe the attitude is softening.
I know the so-called advisors who are supposed to give career advice still tell women they shouldn't discuss their "personal lives" and apparantly they consider taking time off to raise your own kids a "personal matter".
So, sadly, there are many smart, educated, gifted women agonizing over the large gap in their work history.
They're probably much more mature, prepared, and employable than they were before raising kids - but they aren't made to feel that way.
About 2 years ago (give or take) we were a bit strapped, so I started looking for an outside job. I found one I was well qualified for, doing something I actually enjoy.......but then I sat down and looked at the salary, and then the actual costs of taking the job. In the long run there would have been absolutely no financial benefits to us because it would have changed our tax bracket, we would have to pay for child care, the additional cost of my commuting, wardrobe upgardes, etc.......
Needless to say, I didn't even bother applying and decided to toally eschew the hose and heels office world. I'm setting up a roadside produce stand to sell homegrown fruits and veggies and the preserves I make from them.....and don't have to worry about what I look like for work, because I won't have to leave my own yard!!!
As a man, I'd never ever ever get involved with a woman who wanted a "career" over her own children. If she makes enough for me to stay home, fine, otherwise, I work and she stays home... but you put your dogs in a kennel when you don't have time for them... you DON'T do that to your kids.
Not remotely uncommon to find out the second income brings little to no real gain to the family bottom line in many cases... and can sometimes even hurt it... by the time like you realized, you take into consideration, taxes, day care, commuting, clothing, food etc etc.
Let alone the incalculable cost of someone else raising your children.
"Whose looking down? Do all of you have this need to put other people down to build yourselves up? I think there are some self esteem issues going on here"
You need to read the context of who I was responding to and why.
You are getting defensive and reading more into the post than what is there.
yes - there are folks out there who look down on stay-at-home moms and who think caring for children all day every day is a terribly denigrating job.
I never said all professionals have this attitude if that is what you are wondering.
"About 2 years ago (give or take) we were a bit strapped, so I started looking for an outside job. I found one I was well qualified for, doing something I actually enjoy.......but then I sat down and looked at the salary, and then the actual costs of taking the job. In the long run there would have been absolutely no financial benefits to us because it would have changed our tax bracket, we would have to pay for child care, the additional cost of my commuting, wardrobe upgardes, etc.......
Needless to say, I didn't even bother applying and decided to toally eschew the hose and heels office world. I'm setting up a roadside produce stand to sell homegrown fruits and veggies and the preserves I make from them.....and don't have to worry about what I look like for work, because I won't have to leave my own yard!!!"
The exact same thing happened to me.
I found a night job so the kids were always with a parent.
Very tough - but necessary.
As hubby received raises over the years, I cut back on my hours.
After awhile he earned enough for me to stay home.
We also didn't take on a huge morgage - drove used cars - didn't have cable tv - basic phone service only - shopped at consignment shops.
you do what you have to do.
Since that time I have become close friends with the mother of my daghter's best friend, we have become each other's childcare provider when the need arises.
Well obviously need for care on occassion occurs, but its a large difference between a once in a while thing so mommy can go to the doctor or be out of town for a day or two.. and 8-10 hours a day every single day.
dear thomas - you are just looking for a fight that isn't there.
I was responding to a poster's comments concerning the book Generation Me where the author stated...
" "you might find yourself cooped up with young children every day and let's face it -- who is really prepared for that?""
Yes - I have personally experienced this attitude among many women.
yes - I have personally had many women say to me "how can you STAND IT? being with kids all day every day!"
So yes - in my personal experience I have come across this attitude.
In my professional life I heard women discuss stay-at-home moms in the same fashion. Two female bosses I had made their opinions very well known.
So - no it isn't a delusion and no - I am not making the claim that all professional women have this attitude.
Most women are not all one thing or another.
Most women take some time off here and there - work part-time, or go back to full time when the kids are older.
Scot is a freeper - why not ask him yourself?
Jeez . . . I don't even have children, and I coulda told 'em this.
I think your point is well-taken. I was raised in a home with a mother who stayed home. I was a little disruptive in class (class clown type) but otherwise a good kid, as I've been told. My kids (boy/girl twins, now 15 years old) spent part-time in day care as my wife worked a 20 hour week as a pharmacist in an HMO. Neither of them is disruptive, and both have always been good students (my son is a very able student, while my daughter, while not with quite as much horse-power, has a very good work ethic).
I think the distinction is parental involvement in the child's life. Those who have to, or choose to, put their kids in day care often (not always, of course) find it difficult (or too much of a bother) to involve themselves in what is going on in their child's lives. That, I think, is the decisive factor, not the mere fact that they are in day care. Another factor is the kind of day care setting the child is placed in.
Kids can be shown what is proper behavior in various settings. One good place to learn this is Sunday School. While the rules are usually a little more relaxed there, the atmosphere is one of caring and nurture. And it doesn't last that long, so the child can become acclimated to what is expected. Couple that with learning to be quiet and still in church, and the likelihood of such a child being disruptive in school is greatly reduced.
If a child gets the attention he/she needs from home and elsewhere, he/she won't have to seek it by disruptive behavior in school.
Just my humble opinion.
So I should ask ????husband? I'm not looking for a fight, are most of you from rural areas? or small towns? Maybe that is the difference. I live in New Jersey and the cost of living is high. So maybe you just don't have the ability understand other peoples lives. But keep your mind closed and nothing will fall in.