Blink—And They're Grown

Parents, Families and Child Care

Know more about buying a car than choosing quality child care? New study shows that ‘picking a lemon’ when it comes to child care has lasting impact

Quality really matters in child care. This week a widely-reported new study shows that the quality of child care has effects that persist into adolescence.

Teenagers who had been in higher-quality care were less likely to report problem behaviors such as arguing, being mean and getting into fights. Teens who had been in low-quality care settings were found to have more obedience and academic problems that persisted through age 15.

The research was based on 1,300 children in a federally-funded study. The researchers collected information about the type and quality of care the children received birth through age 4½. All types of care were included from parents, to nannies, to child care centers.

This study speaks to the importance of making sound choices for child care. So what’s a parent to do?  Take the same approach as buying a car: study up on makes and models, read Consumer Reports and take a few test drives. Then make a choice.

Translated to child care: learn the indicators of quality care, get a checklist, visit and observe, check for quality indicators such as accreditation or a state star rating.  For child care checklists and further information visit: www.4cforchildren.org/Parents/ChoosingQuality.

–Elaine

Posted by 4cforchildren on Monday, May 17, 2010 10:00 AM

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