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27 March 2007

Day care making kids naughty

Preschoolers who spent a year or more in a day care centre were more likely to be disruptive in class when they started school, according to a new study.

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Preschoolers who spent a year or more in a day care centre were more likely to be disruptive in class when they started school, and this effect persisted through the sixth grade, according to a large US study released Monday.

The long-term study compared 1 300 pre-school children in various settings, including attending a large day care centre, staying home with a parent, and being looked after by a nanny or a relative, The New York Times reported.

When the children were in school, their teachers rated them on such disruptive behaviours as interrupting class, teasing and bullying. Every year spent in a day care centre for at least 10 hours a week was associated with a 1 percent higher score on a standardised assessment of behaviour problems, the study found.

This was true regardless of the child's sex or family income, and regardless of the quality of the day care centre, the Times reported. The study did not examine why time in day care could lead to poor behaviour in school.

The US government-financed Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development did find that children who spent time in high-quality day care centres had higher vocabulary scores in elementary school, The Times reported. – (HealthDayNews)

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March 2007

 
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