Good Child Care May Help Make Up for Troubled
FRIDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- High-quality child care can
help reduce the risk of emotional and behavioral problems in
children from difficult home environments, say researchers.
Using data from a large U.S. study that followed children from
birth through the middle-school years, the researchers focused on
children at ages 2, 3 and 4.5 years.
The families with "difficult home environments" had fewer
resources, fewer learning opportunities and less sensitivity and
acceptance of children, according to trained observers who visited
They found that children in difficult home environments and
lower-quality child care had more social-emotional problems -- such
as being anxious, fearful, disruptive or aggressive, or being less
friendly, helpful and open to other children -- than those who
attended lower-quality child care but lived in more advantaged and
Lower-quality child care was characterized by fewer learning
opportunities, caregivers who used neutral or negative facial
expressions and tone of voice, and insensitive responses.
The study, published in the January/February issue of the
Child Development, also found that attending high-quality child care could help children from difficult home environments overcome the effects of that less-than-ideal family setting.
Experiencing high-quality child care may help children learn
positive ways to express themselves and interact with the world and
provide them with a safe emotional space to grow and learn, the
researchers said in a news release from the Society for Research in
The Nemours Foundation offers tips for
choosing child care.
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