Daycare Kids Are Better Behaved Than Those Watched at Home, Study Says

This should certainly help with the unavoidable “daycare guilt.”
ByStephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
Oct 2018
young children playing at daycare
Photo: iStock

Daycare children are better behaved and socialized than children who are cared for in at-home settings, according to a new study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

And parents everywhere can now let out a long sigh of relief.

The study was organized by researchers at Sorbonne University who tracked 1,428 French children from the time they were 12 months old until they reached the age of 8, and looked at the long-term impact of daycare on kids’ development into adolescence.

During the span of those years, researchers observed children’s emotional development, surveying parents about their child’s behavior, including hyperactivity and social skills. Researchers took note of any type of childcare present up until age 3.

They found children who attended daycare before the age of 3 were more social than children who did not. Since kids are in an environment where they are more prone to interact with others, the effect on a child’s socialization skills isn’t too surprising. What did cause quite a stir, was children kept in daycare were also better behaved than kids who were raised by a nanny or a stay-at-home parent.

And these weren’t just short-term effects. The daycare kids were also more likely to exhibit fewer behavioral and social problems going into early adolescence.

The study isn’t intended to criticize parents with at-home care, but instead take a load of guilt off of parents who send their babies to childcare services. Deciding to go the nanny or daycare route is a tough decision. Think about the benefits and disadvantages of each, so you can decide which fit is best for you and baby.

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