Daycare Could Make Your Kid a Brat, But What Are the Alternatives?


This comes to us from U.S. News Editorial Assistant Amy Golod:

Children who spend at least 10 hours a week in day care are more likely to be troublemakers at school even through sixth grade, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development announced in a study this week.

But the reliance of American couples on child care is not set to decrease, so what's to be done about this matter isn't so simple. The Department of Labor projects the rate of enrollment for children under 5 in day care services to grow at a faster rate through 2014 than in years past.

The number of women to enter the work force is also expected to increase, the Labor Department study indicates, furthering the need for such services when families continue to depend on two incomes.

But Kathleen Gerson, professor of sociology at New York University, tells the News Desk that the findings are not completely "clear cut," especially since the study noted that the unruly behavior was within a normal range for healthy children.

"Children are reared by working mothers despite the efforts to find discouraging consequences that it is harmful to them," Gerson said. "We need to focus on how to create communities that are better for children beyond just day care."

"[The study] shoots arrows of guilt into the hearts of parents rather than into all of our hearts for not having better child care," added Barrie Thorne, professor of sociology and women’s studies at the University of California-Berkeley.

The study also found that students who received high quality care had stronger vocabulary scores in fifth grade than those with poorer care.

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