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How does daycare affect a child's development?

Michele Borba
Psychology
High quality care in early years does affect children’s social, academic, and behavioral development. And those behavior and achievement differences, though small, were still evident more than a decade after parents stopped those day care payments.

Academic and behavior gains 15 years later: Academic and behavior gains from child-care that endured until age 15 were slightly higher when children were involved with “high quality child caregivers.”

Higher academic and cognitive achievement. Teens in high-quality child care settings before age 5 scored higher on measures of academic and cognitive achievement. Specific academic areas (in order) showing highest gains at age 15: Reading, Vocabulary, Verbal Analogies, and Math

Less acting-out. Teen reported fewer acting-out behaviors than peers in lower-quality child care arrangements during early years

Greater risk-taking and impulsivity. Teens spending more hours in childcare in first 4½ years of life reported greater tendency toward impulsiveness and risk-taking behaviors (taking drugs, smoking, and alcohol) at age 15 than peers who spend less time in childcare
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