This post is written by Amy Fain.
A new research study finds children who have received poor childcare are impacted negatively for many years, even after they leave the low quality care environment. This study looked at 1364 children from varied background and found a similar patterns to their behavior as old as fifteen. The study was started with the growing concern for so many children being cared for outside the home. One interesting fact the researcher found was that poor care impacted the children regardless if the care was provided in their home or outside their home. One important note the researchers did find that the influence of parents and family member were “clearly more important than child care”.
Researchers had speculated that the negative effects of lower-quality care would disappear as the influence of other factors, such as peers, teachers and maturation, overcame the early childhood experience. But in the latest analysis of the data, they discovered that teenagers who had received higher-quality child care were less likely to report engaging in problem behaviors such as arguing, being mean to others and getting into fights. Those who spent more hours in child care of any kind were more likely to engage in impulsive and risky behaviors. And those who received moderately high- or high-quality care scored higher on tests gauging cognitive and academic achievement.
As an early childhood professional I found this research to be very important to support more teacher training, degreed teachers in the classroom and funding to help support the cost of providing high quality early childhood learning environments.
Amy Fain is Professional Development Coordinator at Community Action Project.