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Outline and Evaluate research into the effects of day care on social development

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Outline and Evaluate research into the effects of day care on social development There has been a lot of research looking into the effects day care has on a child's social development. A general observation suggests that children attending daycare at nurseries generally have more contact with other children of a similar age than children who are cared for at home, thus providing them with more opportunity to develop social skills such as sharing and talking to others. Children who are home reared may not get these opportunities and therefore will not be as sociable. A lot of research points to day care having positive effects on social development, this is shown by Anderssons (1989,1992) studies in which he found that children who attended daycare were able to get along with other children better, were more sociable and outgoing and had better abilities to play with peers than those who did not attend daycare. Another study which found positive effects on social development was by Moely and Frank (1998) ...read more.


To try and address these issues they carried out a longitudinal study to look at quantity and quality of care. They took a group of children from Gothenburg who attended childcare continuously between the ages of 18 months and 3 and a half years. Nine attended family based care and 30 attended nursery with a further nine switching from family to nursery during this study. They were compared with children who had applied for day care places but who did not obtain them, they were observed in their homes at 18 months playing with familiar peers. Researcher assessed standard of care the child was receiving at home. After day care had started they were visited in the nursery and observed playing with other children for 30 minutes, this gave the researchers a baseline at 18 months to see how socially skilled the children were before care started. These two assessments were repeated when the child was 2 and a half and 3 and a half years old. ...read more.


Although this is one of the most reliable studies carried out about the effects of daycare on social development it still has some problems, the fact it was carried out in Sweden is unrepresentative of other countries in the world, and is difficult to draw comparisons as Sweden's childcare is very well funded. As with all of the research into the effects of daycare it is very important to gain the parents full consent when working with children and also requires sensitivity from the researchers allowing participants to drop out of the study at anytime, however this may give unreliable results if a majority were to drop out. The research that has gone into this has mostly taken place in a surrounding which is familiar to the child so it is easier to relate this research to real life as real life situations have been implemented and observed. The studies carried out have shown that it can be difficult to assess the effects of daycare on social development as all of the following will need to be taken into consideration: variety of day care settings, time spent in daycare, child's temperaments, quality of daycare and the mothers attitudes towards chilcare. ...read more.

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3 star(s)


The writer has presented all the main evidence that is required and has concluded that it is the quality of day care which is important. The writing needs more structure however, and needs an introduction that sets out the initial argument about day care. The writer can then go on to produce the evidence for and against. Also, there is a bit too much detail with regards the studies and not enough focus on the results. It would be advisable to add some evidence with regards the very young children, under two years, which caused some controversy, since it concluded children so young should not be in day care.

Overall this is a short, well informed essay on day care.

3 stars

Marked by teacher Linda Penn 01/05/2013

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