'Child Care' is Bad for Your Children

Well, according to this study, at least.
We first confirm earlier findings showing reduced contemporaneous non-cognitive development following the program introduction in Quebec, with little impact on cognitive test scores,” reads the abstract for the study.

“We then show these non-cognitive deficits persisted to school ages, and also that cohorts with increased child care access subsequently had worse health, lower life satisfaction, and higher crime rates later in life. The impacts on criminal activity are concentrated in boys.”
I can remember discussing this at the phase in my life when questions of child care were relevant. We thought, in those days, that it was good to send a child to child care for at least a few hours a week. The idea was that it would give them a chance to socialize, to get used to not being the most important person in the world and to taking turns with other children.

That's all quite intuitive, but maybe it's wrong. Intuitions often are. Maybe it's really good to your development to have that time of your life spent in safety and assurance. Maybe that's the ground for developing the kind of personality that can then learn to extend kindness to others -- not because you're made to do so, but because you're confident enough to do so freely.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

The more mixed take from National Review was interesting. There is a little too much implied equivalence between lower-class homes = worse homes and middle-class homes = better homes, but let that go for the moment. That's statistically true because of who it lumps together in those groups. But the idea that available child care is better for the kids from bad homes, worse for the kids from good homes is intriguing. It's likely to be unpopular in two-career families, too. The difference may have centered around the increase in anxiety, which makes sense. Private daycare by relatives, neighbors, or friends is likely to provoke less anxiety.

I had read a similar study on Head Start suggesting that it put victims and bullies together, leading to worse outcomes for both, but the kids who were neither actually benefited a little, resulting in a wash. As bullies and victims are often the same children, it's had to see a good way to separate them out.

Anonymous said...

This is entirely believable, for me, because I had a similar experience.

Most of the time, my children were in private day-care and private school. They thrived. The oldest son, however, was placed in public school, with extended care, for elementary school, in the elementary school across the street from the cheap seats.

That school was chaos, every day. I never once walked into that school during the day without being hit by a wall of sound. The alleged supervisors of the day-care did nothing for those kids. There was no quiet time and no homework time, because, they said, it wasn't their job.

He did worse and the school kept setting him back. He was bored out of his skull, hated every minute of it, and did not do his homework. I had to put him in summer school, and insist on him being placed with his class for middle school. He recovered after a year or two, and did well in both high school and college.

The younger kids went to private school. It was so much better.

Government-run daycare was a shambling disaster in one of the wealthiest counties in the US.


Eric Blair said...

I have sisters who were teachers and one of them, who is about as liberal as could be still had the opinion that "Schools are not parents". A life time of teaching had basically convinced her that in main, if the parents are awful, then the kids are going to be awful and there is nothing that can be done about it. Although she also said that "cream rises to the top" meaning that there will always be extrordinary individuals that will make it no matter what.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

@ Eric Blair - your sister learned that nature is more powerful than nurture, though she wouldn't know it quite that way. It is now terribly incorrect to even suggest it, because it undermines most educational theories, liberal and conservative. There is almost nothing short of trauma that can be reliably attributed to environment at this point. Even in this study, you will notice that only non-cognitive measures were affected.

J Melcher said...

I assume the political proposals for "universal" Pre-K affect the nation's 4-year-olds now in childcare less than those kept home with a parent. So let's do the math assuming the Census is right and about 10% of our 300 million are age 0-4. 30 million. Assume about 1/5th of those are age 4, eligible for Pre-K. Six million. Assume half are now in commercial day care. Three million.

What does the transfer (loss?) of 3 million paying customers in a market do to an industry? Bearing in mind that the industry is still trying to serve a market for care of customers aged zero to three?

Doesn't governemnt Pre_K drive some child care businesses out of business, raise the rates for everybody else, and set up the next wave of government intrusion as a "single-source, single payer, public childcare" proposal ?

Ymar Sakar said...

This is similar to the human mistake of thinking average IQ teachers can deal with child prodigies and kids with savant level abilities or potential. It doesn't work like that.

Only someone in the top 25-10% of human capability, can actually teach outlier kids how to reach their full potential, because the adult went through a similar process. And only a portion of those with the capability to do so, are actually motivated or good at teaching.

But humans prefer to use systems of incompetence to teach the kids and they get the predictable results.

Grim said...

What does the transfer (loss?) of 3 million paying customers in a market do to an industry?

She can't save every undercapitalized business in America, remember.