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What the Effects of Day Care on Social and Cognitive Development.

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Introduction

What the Effects of Day Care on Social and Cognitive Development For every research paper that suggests working motherhood damages children, there are many more which indicate the positive effects on their social and cognitive development. We can't really say whether day care is good or bad for all children because of individual differences. One study which shows this is which was performed by Egeland and Hiester (1995). They studied about 70 children, about half of whom entered day care before the age of 1 and the rest stayed at home with their mothers. All the children came from poor backgrounds. The children were assessed at age 1 and again at 3� years, using the strange situation procedure. Day care appeared to have a negative effect for secure children but had a positive influence for insecure children. This is possibly because insecurely attached children have not been getting the education at home like the securely attached ones who have better parents, so the insecure children are getting the needed compensatory education and therefore benefited from day care, whereas the securely attached children did not need this extra attention and therefore the separation effects alone were apparent. ...read more.

Middle

In order to improve consistency a day care center needs to have enough staff so that each child always has someone to interact with. They should be assigned to one caregiver who should feel responsible for them and look after them while they are in their care. It may also be important to establish consistent routines and physical environments. Schaffer notes that it is very difficult to define "quality of care" although we can identify some features of day care that contribute to it. One very important feature of quality day care is the amount of verbal interaction between caregiver and child. A second way to improve the quality of day care is to increase the amount of books, toys and other playthings. This is clearly important for cognitive development in order to provide sufficient stimulation. Third and perhaps most important, is the issue of providing sensitive emotional care. The NICHD study found that just over one-quarter of the infant care providers gave highly sensitive infant care, half of them provided moderately sensitive care, but worryingly another one-fifth of the caregivers were "emotionally detached" from the infants under their care. ...read more.

Conclusion

There has been studies done that show for some children there are benefits of having children that work. For example Brown and Harris (1978) found that women who don't work and have several young children to care for are far more likely to suffer from serious depression; and Shaffer (1993) reported that children of working environments tend to be more confident in social environments than those who have remained in their mothers care. From this we conclude that maybe mothers going out to work enables them to be better mothers. Conclusion Day nurseries seem to offer a good standard of care but childminding may be less desirable when only routine care is offered. Day care has been shown to improve cognitive development of disadvantaged children but not so much secure children who are already getting the stimulus at home. Day care is shown to have a positive effect on most children's cognitive and social development, apart from those children who are shy by nature who may find the experience harmful to their development. Whether or not a child is in day care they seem to be equally attached to there primary caregiver. ...read more.

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