Behavior Problems at Daycare

Q: “I’ve heard that children who attend childcare may develop behavior problems. Is that true?”

A: Over the years, research into this issue has had mixed results. In 2007, a large, long-term study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) linked longer hours in a childcare center setting with behavior problems later in a child’s life.

Since those findings, however, Norwegian researchers have found that the subsequent behavior problems were usually linked to low-quality childcare earlier in life; children who attended high-quality care settings did not seem to have behavior issues later on. And still other research has even found that children attending childcare programs were better behaved than those who remained at home.

While every child will respond to childcare center settings differently, it’s best to choose a high-quality setting and to keep the number of hours a child spends in a childcare center to fewer than 40 hours per week if possible.

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