The media is buzzing about these latest results from the ongoing NIH study of 1,364 children. It is worth reading if you currently use child care. As you can see from the excerpt below, "Parenting quality was a much more important predictor of child development than was type, quantity, or quality, of child care" and I believe that is the key.
The most recent analysis of a long-term NIH-funded study found that children who received higher quality child care before entering kindergarten had better vocabulary scores in the fifth grade than did children who received lower quality care.
The study authors also found that the more time children spent in center-based care before kindergarten, the more likely their sixth grade teachers were to report such problem behaviors as "gets in many fights," "disobedient at school," and "argues a lot."
However, the researchers cautioned that the increase in vocabulary and problem behaviors was small, and that parenting quality was a much more important predictor of child development than was type, quantity, or quality, of child care. The study appears in the March/April 2007, issue of Child Development. Jay Belsky, Ph.D., Director of the Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Social Issues and Professor of Psychology at Birkbeck University of London, was the first author of the current article.
To read the entire NIH News release, click on the title of this blog post.