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"Some mothers choose to stay at home and look after their children while others have little choice in the matter and may feel quite worried about the effects of day care. To what extent does day care

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Introduction

"Some mothers choose to stay at home and look after their children while others have little choice in the matter and may feel quite worried about the effects of day care". To what extent does day care affect the social and cognitive development of children? As many changes have occurred over the past few decades, since the introduction of the 1976 Sex Discrimination Act, a greater number of women have entered the workforce. This has resulted in more and more children being looked after by adults other than their parents. Sometimes relatives are the care givers but many mothers don't have this option so need to seek child care in other areas such as; day nurseries, child minders, au pairs and nannies. According to The Institute of Fiscal Studies, approximately half of the women in the UK return to work within one year of giving birth and a further quarter will return after five years. This particular issue has caused many debates and arguments among psychologists as to whether day care is detrimental to a child's cognitive and social development. Many of these psychologists believe that child care has negative effects and that children would grow into emotionally and socially developed adults if they received all their pre-school care from their mothers and immediate family. ...read more.

Middle

He also argued that the mother also inherits a genetic blueprint which programs her to respond to the baby. If this bond isn't allowed to form, or is broken, emotional development will be disrupted. Bowlby believed that infants display a strong innate tendency to become attached to one particular adult female (not necessarily the natural mother), a tendency he called monotropy. However, Bowlbys views on monotropy have been criticised as infants and young children display a whole wide range of attachment behaviours towards a variety of attachment figures other than the mother. Although Bowlby did not deny that children form multiple attachments, he saw attachment to the mother as being unique: it is the first to develop and is the strongest of all. Bowbly argued that the father is of no direct emotional significance to the young infant, but only of indirect value as an emotional and economic support for the mother. Bowlbys views on this were disputed by findings in a study carried out by Schaffer & Emerson showed that: o Only half of the 18 month olds were most strongly attached to their mother o Almost a third were most strongly attached to the father o About 17 percent were equally attached to both parents. ...read more.

Conclusion

However Bowlby himself did not specifically suggest that women should stay at home to look after their children, but logically looking at his studies, he states absent mothers mean unhappy children, surely that means mothers should be present full-time. Rutter argues that it is important to distinguish between a child's need to form attachments, their need for basic care and their need to play. Meeting these needs can be shared among several people. So long as all three are available to the child, it does not matter who provides them, and in particular it does not matter if the mother does so. No scientific evidence says that children are harmed when their mothers work. A child's development is influenced more by the emotional health of the family and the quality of care received from all involved in their care. A child who is emotionally well adjusted, well loved and well cared for should thrive regardless of whether the mother works or not. It would seem that as long as the care provided is sensitive, stimulating and appropriately organised, day care does not provide as many negative outcomes as once thought. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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