The day-care kids are alright, writes Emily Bazelon on Slate. Taking a closer look at the long-term study of day-care effects, she finds more misbehavior only for children who spent more than a few years in child-care centers.
When I reached the study’s author, Margaret Burchinal, yesterday, she asked if she could explain something she feared had been missed. “I’m not sure we communicated this, but the kids who had one to two years of daycare by age 4Â½ â€” which was typical for our sample â€” had exactly the level of problem behavior you’d expect for kids of their age. Most people use center care for one or two years, and for those kids we’re not seeing anything problematic.”
Children who spend three or four years in day-care centers tend to go to lower-quality centers, Bazelon points out, though the difference is slight.