High-quality child care found good for children -- and their mothers

February 8, 2012, Society for Research in Child Development

High-quality early child care isn't important just for children, but for their mothers, too. That's the conclusion of a new study by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin; the study appears in the journal Child Development.

The study analyzed data from more than 1,300 in the of Early Child Care and Youth Development, which was sponsored by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). As part of the study, children's care settings were evaluated at multiple points when the children were 1 to 54 months old, and moms were interviewed at regular intervals; in this way, researchers created histories of child care location and quality from birth.

The study found that mothers whose children spent their early years in high-quality nonparental care, starting from birth and in either center-based or home-based settings, were more likely than other moms to be involved in their children's schools later, regardless of the moms' . Other moms were those whose children weren't in child care or were in low-quality child care. involvement included being in regular contact with teachers or being involved with the school community after their children entered —for example, attending open house events at school or visiting the homes of the parents of their children's classmates.

Moreover, the effects of this early child care were cumulative. The quality of the child care the year before children started school didn't matter as much as the history of the quality of care throughout the children's early life. And the quality of children's early care was more important than the type or setting of the care.

"These findings tie into two important components," according to Robert Crosnoe, professor of sociology in the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, who led the study. "First, high-quality child care promotes school readiness, a phenomenon that motivates programs like Head Start and universal prekindergarten. And second, children make a smoother transition to school when families and schools are strongly connected, as reflected in the goals of No Child Left Behind."

Crosnoe says the study has implications for policy and practice: "Linking multiple settings of early childhood—home, , and school—early in children's lives helps support children's school readiness and early academic progress," he notes.

Explore further: New study examines link between child care subsidies and childhood obesity

Related Stories

New study examines link between child care subsidies and childhood obesity

December 14, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- A new study published in the Journal of Urban Economics by ASU's Chris Herbst, along with Erdal Tekin of Georgia State University, focuses on analyzing the impact of subsidized child care on disadvantaged ...

Recommended for you

Number of older people with four or more diseases will double by 2035, say researchers

January 23, 2018
A study published today in Age and Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Society, reports that the number of older people diagnosed with four or more diseases will double between 2015 and 2035. A third ...

Placental accumulation of flame retardant chemical alters serotonin production in rats

January 22, 2018
A North Carolina State University-led research team has shown a connection between exposure to a widely used flame retardant chemical mixture and disruption of normal placental function in rats, leading to altered production ...

Marijuana use does not lower chances of getting pregnant

January 22, 2018
Marijuana use—by either men or women—does not appear to lower a couple's chances of getting pregnant, according to a new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers.

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.