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"Are There Long-Term Effects Of Early Child Care?"
Though it seems like that's a yes/no question, the answer seems to be "maybe," and it raises more questions than it answers, at least for me.
With 2 kids under the age of 2 in daycare I'm always on the prowl for new stories on daycare. There's a big one out now with some really catchy headlines. Almost All the headlines use the words "Disruptive", "Aggressive", "Problems" even "Brattiness". I half expected to read something like "You're Ruining Your Kids Lives In Day Care!" I'm not one to leave it at what I can learn from a paragraph or 2 written by someone who didn't read the study, so I read The Original Release and tried to find The Actual Results. I went and read some of the Data Set and finally went and read The Original Study [you might not be able to download it depending on where you are.] There's quite a bit to quote in there, but I'll just drop the study summary:
"The results indicated that although parenting was a stronger and more consistent predictor of children's development than early child-care experience, higher quality care predicted higher vocabulary scores and more exposure to center care predicted more teacher-reported externalizing problems. Discussion focuses on mechanisms responsible for these effects, the potential collective consequences of small child-care effects, and the importance of the ongoing follow-up at age 15."
Reading the entire study leads me to believe the I should be asking a different question: "Are There Long-Term Effects of Putting My Kids In Day Care?" From what I can gather from this study, and several others, the answer seems to be "Probably NOT." It's important to understand the limitations of these studies. It's also important to take the time to read and apply the results to your situation. If this is something that interests you I highly recommend reading this study as a good starting point, the bibliography will lead you to all the other major studies done recently.