Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Nursery daycare makes children more aggressive - but don't worry

Ed: Extraordinary that this article in the Guardian acknowledges that nursery care measurably damages children, but still concludes on an optimistic (or head in sand) note: "There's no need for panic responses. There are clearly trade-offs to be made in any circumstances: the benefit a child may experience from no longer living in poverty if his or her single mother is in work may outweigh any risks of group-based care."

[...] several studies in different countries into the adverse and long-term impact of group-based care on children have reached strikingly similar conclusions. They make uncomfortable reading for parents. Now it's happened again. In the US, the latest tranche of the world's biggest study into the impact of childcare on subsequent development finds that children who have been in group care such as nurseries in their pre-school years are more likely to be aggressive and disruptive once they reach school, and that this persists to the age of 12. What is most disturbing about this new research is how enduring these negative effects are proving to be.

The more time over 10 hours a week children spend in group care, the more likely teachers are to report that their behaviour is more difficult at school. Even good quality group care has the same impact. The effect is small but significant, and the research team's concern is not that individuals become "axe murderers or rapists", but to discover the cumulative effect of millions of children being slightly more difficult. Read more

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