Study says behavioral problems linked to time spent in daycare

I have always wondered how a parent could lead themselves to believe that they could so easily be replaced by a minimum wage, daycare worker. Well now there is a study that supports the fact that nobody can do a better job of raising children than can their parents.

MSN is reporting:

The findings come from the largest long-term study of child care and development conducted in the United States. The 1,364 children in the analysis, had been tracked since birth as part of a study by the National Institutes of Health. The study was aimed at resolving disputes over whether daycare is harmful has found that subtle effects on behavior and vocabulary can last until fifth or sixth grade.

There were no differences in math, reading or other skills.

And the more time children spent in daycare centers before kindergarten, the more likely their sixth grade teachers were to report such problem behaviors as “gets in many fights,” ”disobedient at school,” and “argues a lot.”

Now this is not to say that the effects of being in daycare don’t last beyond the sixth grade. Keep in mind that this is an ongoing study. And the subjects have yet to reach high school or junior high.

The researchers also go on to state that the most important factor in how these children progressed was the quality of parenting they received.

Griffin said attention from parents is far more important to how a child turns out than day care or schooling.

As a former classroom teacher and the husband of a former teacher’s aide, I can unequivocally tell you that this is the truth. Children who’s parents are fully engaged in their lives prove to be more confident, more obedient, more respectful of authority and less likely influenced by peer pressure.

But I also love how they go out of their way to make parents feel better who put their children in daycare with statements like:

…these effects were very subtle, said Dr. James Griffin, who oversaw the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development study. The researchers said the increase in vocabulary and problem behaviors was small…


If you went into one of these classrooms, you wouldn’t be able to say ’this child, this child, and this child attended center-based care

I can also tell you without a doubt that these statements are false; at least to those of us who did not put our children in daycare. There is no substitute for a child having his/her parents active and engaged in his/her life. And I don’t know how parents can do that if their children are in daycare from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., five days a week.

I am not saying that there aren’t situations where parents don’t have a choice. But all too often they do. How many parents do you know that drive two expensive, brand new cars and live in a big house that claim to have no other choice but to put their children in daycare? I believe that it is a question of priorities.

When my kids were born, my wife Sobna chose to stay home with them. Not because we were well off, but because being there for our children was a priority for us. Then, when they went to pre-school, she went to work as a teacher at their pre-school. And when they went on to elementary school, she would also make the transition to becoming a teacher’s aide there. And now that they are both at the middle school age, Sobna has once again become a stay at home mom. And once again, not that we are wealthy or even well off. But our children; not our stuff are the priority for us.

So, as a result, we drive older vehicles and live in a small house. And that is fine by us, because we don’t see it as missing out on anything. We see it as an investment in the most valuable treasure we will have… our children!