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Research papers on the Child Care Effects - Essay Example

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For many parents it is necessary to place their infant or child in child care outside of the family and home on a regular basis, for long periods of time (The NICHO, 2005, p.259). Recent studies indicate distinct differences in the socio-emotional, cognitive and physical…
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For many parents it is necessary to place their infant or child in child care outside of the family and home on a regular basis, for long periods of time (The NICHO, 2005, p.259). Recent studies indicate distinct differences in the socio-emotional, cognitive and physical abilities of children who do, and who do not, regularly attend a child care center (Allhusen & Clarke-Stewart, 2005, p.83). The hypothesis for this paper was: Child care can affect a child’s development both positively and negatively. A review of the literature showed support for the hypothesis, as neither argument was sufficient to indicate proof.
Research interest in the frequency and quality of child care is due to the ongoing affects of early childhood experiences (Ochitree, 1994). Many theorists argue that long periods of separation from the caregiver, in combination with poor quality child care, can negatively affect a child’s development (The NICHO, 2005, p.259). Other theorists contend that child care can affect a child’s development in many positive ways (The NICHO, 2005, p.269). This paper will review the literature with the research hypothesis that: Child care can affect a child’s development both positively and negatively. Firstly, negative arguments shall be presented. Secondly, positive arguments will be provided. Next child care quality and its affects will be highlighted. Finally, a conclusion shall synthesize the main arguments, and state how the research hypothesis has been supported.
Negative Affects of Child Care on Children’s Development
Young children who regularly attend child care may be more at risk of social maladjustment later in their lives (Lewin, 2005, p.1). It has been found that long hours in care affect a child’s ability to work and interact socially. Studies show a negative association between the amount of time a child spends in daycare, and their tendency to act-out and to develop poor interpersonal relationships. This may be due to experiences of stress, and the development of anti-social behaviors, such as non-compliancy and violence (The negative effects of childcare? 2003, p.1). One study observed that 4 1/2-year-olds who spent up to 30 hours a week in child care appeared to be more insistent, violent and disobedient as compared to their cohort not in care (Lewin, 2005, p.1). Another study found children tended to also be disrespectful in both their use of language and their behavior, and seemed to make more noise in general than their peers who did not attend care (Allhusen & Clarke-Stewart, 2005, p.90).
Positive Affects of Child Care on Children’s Development
There is literature to support child care as being beneficial to a child’s development. Long hours of care have been associated with improved academic skills (Lewin, 2005, p.2). For example children of two or three years of age in care were found to have good pre-reading and math ability. Another study found children had enhanced intellectual, motor and physical development as compared to children not in care (Allhusen & Clarke-Stewart, 2005, p.84 and 87). Greater perception of the feelings of others, and more mature communication skills at a younger age than peers not in care, have also been found (Allhusen & Clarke-Stewart, 2005, p.87; Kahn & Kamerman, 1997, p.16).
Child Care Quality and its Affects on Children’s Development
Research suggests that organized child care that is inclusive of educational programs, can supplement socio-emotional, physical and cognitive development that would occur within the home (Kahn & Kamerman, 1997, p.16). Additionally, children in care appear to be at less risk of accidental death (Lewin, 2005, p.2), as well as sickness and infection (Allhusen & Clarke-Stewart, 2005, p.84).
In conclusion it appears that there is a wealth of evidence to support the hypothesis that child care affects a child’s development both positively and negatively. To date, there does not seem to be enough evidence to support one argument more than the other.
Allhusen, V. & Clarke-Stewart, A. (2005). What we know about childcare. United States of
America: Harvard University Press.
Kahn, A., & Kamerman, S. (1997). Facing the hard choices. United States of America:
Auburn House Publishing Company.
Lewin, T. (2005, November 1). 3 new studies access effects of child care. The New York
Times. Retrieved April 25, 2006, from Bigchalk Library database on the World Wide
Ochitree, G. (1994). Effects of child care on young children. Australia: National Library of
The negative effects of childcare? (2003, July 17). CBS News. Retrieved April 28, 2006,
from the World Wide Web
The NICHO Early Child Care Research Network (Ed.)(2005). Child care and child
development. New York: Guilford Press. Read More
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