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Childcare supports psychological development, study says

By Rachel Lawler
 
learning to write
Researchers at Sorbonne University have found that attending quality childcare may improve children’s psychological development.
 
In a report published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, researchers explained how they studied 1,428 children in France, where most children attend an early years setting from age three onwards. They compared children’s behavioural and emotional symptoms from age three up to age eight.
 
Emotional symptoms
Those children that attended an early years setting before the age of three were less likely to have emotional symptoms or problems with peer relationships later on. Once they were older, these children showed better pro-social behaviour.
 
The researchers said that group-based early years settings had a stronger impact on children’s emotional development than childminders, however both types of childcare still had a positive impact.
 
Differing responses
Girls and children from more advantaged backgrounds were found to benefit more from group childcare than boys or children from disadvantaged families.
 
While the researchers acknowledge that their work did not show cause and effect, they suggested that a combination of play, praise, reading, rules and interactions with caregivers helped support children’s development.
 
The researchers concluded that “high-quality centre-based childcare may be linked to lower levels of emotional symptoms”.