Baby Care in Daycare

Baby Care in Daycare and Making the DayCare Choice

Children and Baby Care in Daycare

Child and baby care in daycare structures are rising, but is this a good thing and for whom? What is the effect on society, mothers, and fathers, and children themselves. Take a look at the results of these studies.

In the “Who’s Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Spring 2011” report from the U.S. Census Bureau, it was noted that 12.5 million (61 percent) of the 20.4 million children under age 5 participated in some kind of regular child care.

In the U.K., between 2011 and 2013, “The total number of full day care staff also increased between 2011 and 2013, rising by six per cent,” and “The number of registered places in full day care settings rose by ten per cent between 2011 and 2013,” according to the “Child Care and Early Years Providers Survey: 2013.”

Finally, an Australian government study from 2009 called “Child care and Early Education in Australia” found that

“The majority of the parents using child care (62.1%) accessed informal care provided by relatives, usually grandparents, or non‑relatives; 37.9 per cent used formal, government‑regulated long day care or family day care services; and 10.0 per cent used a combination of formal and informal care.”

The effect of this time away from care givers other than parents is undoubtedly on the mind of every parent. According to FamilyFacts.org,

“Entry into child care before the age of one and continued and extensive child care throughout early childhood years are associated with less social competence and cooperation, more problem behaviors, negative moods, aggression, and conflict.”

Before you decide to quit your job and stay home with your child after reading this, consider that

“parenting quality was a much more important predictor of child development than was type, quantity, or quality, of child care,”

contended researchers of a 2007 long-term National Institutes of Health-funded study.

Consider your family’s individual needs and preferences before you make a final child care decision. Topics about child and or baby care in daycare are difficult and very personal. There is not fit-all solution.

Benefits of Daycare

Child care centers provide a routine for your child every day, which can help her to learn and to feel safe and secure. Baby care in daycare structures are usually inspected to be sure they are safe, and they are administered by a director.

U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development research has found that children who attend daycare could

“have an intellectual edge over those in other kinds of care. . .,”

notes BabyCenter.com. Lastly, toddlers and preschoolers can socialize with other kids in daycares, which is not possible quite as often when a nanny or family member cares for them.

Drawbacks of Daycare

Daycares charge late fees if parents are late or if they pick up late. They also have to find back-up care when the center closes for holidays, and they cannot bring their children to the center when they are ill. Children in daycare also tend to pick up more illnesses in daycares. Children also do not often get the individualized care they would with a babysitter, nanny, relative, or small, at-home daycare.

Developmental Effects of Daycare

The research done by the 2007 NIH-funded report found that children who had high-quality child care before they went to Kindergarten found that they had higher vocabulary scores in fifth grade than children did who were in lower-quality child care. This may be due, in part, to the exposure to more words during the day. They may receive explicit instruction in vocabulary from teachers as well.

However, the same study found that those children in center-based child care before Kindergarten received more notes of problem behaviors from their sixth grade teachers. The researchers said that these findings were not that significant compared to the quality of the parenting children receive.

Additionally, baby care in daycare organisations often have lower levels of social competence and cooperation, worse moods, aggression, and problem behaviors. The Australian study referenced previously found that

“Teacher ratings of social development were lower for children who attended more child care settings each week.”

However, the education of teachers and the child to teacher ratios also contributed to children’s social development in daycares.

Note these outcomes from the Australian study:

“Children who did not attend a formal early childhood program had lower scores for receptive vocabulary than children in pre‑Year 1 and preschool programs (whether this was in a single setting or with other additional care), and comparable scores to children in long day care. Children who attended long day care plus other additional care had the lowest scores. The relationship between child care factors and children’s receptive
vocabulary appeared to be a function of the amount of time in care rather than type of early childhood setting. . .Not attending a formal early childhood program had less of an impact on children’s achievement in early literacy and numeracy than on receptive vocabulary. Apart from the enhancing effect of being in pre‑Year 1, there were only minimal differences in test scores across the six types of early care/education settings children attended and these did not differ from scores for children not attending an education program.”

In the end, it seems that even if a child is a daycare most of the day, the quality of the parental care at home is vital in determining the social and emotional development of a child. Even if you don’t have much time with your child, the quality of the time you spend with her is essential. The quality of care at a daycare, or that which a family member, babysitter, or nanny provides is important as well. Your family will make the most appropriate decision about child care for your child. Even if it involves a daycare, you will research and make the most informed decision about the best environment for your child.

 

Baby Care in Daycare

women in leadership

Between the Bench and the Bottle: Women in Leadership Experiment with Motherhood and Careers in Science

Chien Shiung-Wu, also called First Lady of Physics, said once,

“I sincerely doubt that any open-minded person really believes in the faulty notion that women have no intellectual capacity for science and technology. Nor do I believe that social and economic factors are the actual obstacles that prevent women’s participation in the scientific and technical field. The main stumbling blocking the way of any progress is and always has been unimpeachable tradition.”

For those of us who want to become women in leadership and have careers that are long and impacting on the fields we inhabit, we certainly have a lot to overcome. Even if we conquer the possible harassment, unequal pay, and discrimination that have been well documented in the working world, when we decide to become mothers, we then have to conquer our own biology to remain active in our careers.

This is especially true in the fields of science and mathematics where vigorous schooling and workloads make it incredibly hard to become an attentive parent (or vice versa). Though we carry the responsibility of being beautiful vessels of life, many people, policies, and careers fail to give that responsibility the respect it deserves.

This often leaves women with a huge choice: spend life progressing their scientific careers or choose to experiment in being a parent. But why can’t we do both?

It is well documented that women are a minority in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Many programs and campaigns have been implemented in the past decade to recruit more women into these fields, but to little effect. According to the National Science Foundation, women comprise only 25% of the STEM workforce. Even if the campaigns work to recruit women into STEM degrees in university, many will not complete the STEM degree or will, later in their career, drop out of the field. But why? The reasons behind this differ, and there is research pointing to the fact that many women are simply not that interested in STEM careers, but recent investigation suggests that many women are making the choice to leave the laboratory so they can be mothers.

The Prevalence of Mothers in STEM Studies and Scientific Careers

A thorough study published in American Scientist suggests that women in leadership positions have careers equivalent to men in the same position until they plan to have children. Just the idea of becoming a parent exerts a stronger force on a woman’s career than on a man’s and for valid reasons. The path to a successful career in science requires many years of schooling, starting with a bachelors degree and ending with a PhD. This is followed by a few post-doc positions to gain research experience after the PhD, then finally, a full-fledged career in industry or academia.

Women’s fertility cycles clash with this timeline. A woman is most fertile at the start of and during her stressful, high-risk PhD years, with fertility exponentially declining in the years when her career becomes more stable. The question for women in leadership positions then becomes, risk a career to become a mother or risk infertility?

Making the Choice: The Gender Gap and Motherhood

In the end, women should not feel they have to make a choice. If a woman wants to have a career in science and be a mother, then she should be able to do so. By virtue of biology, however, a woman will be distanced from her career when she has a child. Therefore, the factors contributing to women dropping out of their careers not only include discrimination or lack of interest, but also gender inequality related to outdated policies that work for men and not for women. In other words, tradition contributes to the “motherhood or career” dilemma women face. Implementing policy changes that account for a woman’s biology when she decides to become a parent (and not only a man’s) would help STEM fields retain women in leadership.

Women in Leadership Speak Out About Mixing Motherhood with the Laboratory

Though it will undoubtedly take many years to create the policy changes needed to increase the number of women in STEM fields with long-standing careers, many women in leadership every day still make the decision to be both mothers and scientists, and do it successfully.

A book documenting the unique difficulties mothers face in the competitive field of science was recently published, giving hope and inspiration to women who wish to successfully combine their family goals with their career goals. The book is called Motherhood: The Elephant in the Laboratory: Women Scientist speak out. The book has also been turned into a project that hopes to bring awareness to the need for change in the STEM fields. You can find the website linked to the project here.

In the end, women are tough, smart, and mothers. Though we face traditions that work to thwart our goals in life, we work against them to create the lives we want. A career in science and in motherhood, though not easy, helps to create the change many of us wish to see in the world by concurrently allowing us to have a family, raise insightful children with strong role models, and partake in life-changing research. We can be women in leadership in both career and family, and if we continue to ask for change, it will get easier.

“The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” – William James

Here are some great resources for further reading:

women in leadership

child and baby care

Child and Baby Care : Evolving viewpoints

“There is no evidence that babies or infants attach less to other carers than the mother.”

This was shown by research on child and baby care done by Rudolph Schaffer and Peggy Emerson in Scotland back in 1964. Other research on child and baby care confirmed similar facts.

There is, we must conclude, nothing to indicate any biological need for an exclusive primary bond (with mother); nothing to suggest that mothering cannot be shared by several people.’

wrote Rudolph Schaffer in 1977 in his book Mothering published by the Harvard University Press.

This is off course a sharp contrast to the imprinting generalization on the human species.

And later research on child and baby care went even further. A baby can attach as much to another caring person than the mother even if she is the one staying most of the time at home with the baby. The research on child and baby care shows that the baby or infant can be as and even more distressed when the father, or grandmother leaves the place than the mother. The baby has the intellectual and emotional capacity to attach itself to several people just like adults and this from an early age on. By the time the baby is eight to twelve months it will have as strong bonds with and the mother and the father and siblings if all of them are fun to be with.

And there is the debate whether or not women can go to work when their children are very young and use child and baby care for example. In many countries child and baby care by others is still not encouraged. The reason given is often the emotional implications on the children. The people who feel a mother should be with her children still wonder why it is so important for certain women to go to work and can not understand they do not wish to stay at home with their children. They do not understand why it is necessary to take any chances or risks with other types of child minding when the stakes are so high. In their eyes, the risks are surely higher on one side than on the other. This child and baby care is surely more valuable and important than the employment for some extra years.

If sharing child and baby care would be proven harmful one would think these research data on child and baby care would be mediatized  and that it would be impossible for most women with the choice to even consider going to work and organize group child and baby care. But the data of the research on sharing care says the contrary and this since several years. It was not always so.

The sole condition of child and baby care

There is however one condition. The daycares or other forms of child and baby care need to be of sufficient quality. And a good carer with the right training seems to be able to praise, comfort, respond, question and instruct young children more than others. This is of utmost importance because this quality of baby care will influence positively language skills, intellect and emotional skills. It is also said that the quality of child and baby care is more determined by knowledge of childminding and less by experience. So all these things need to be taken into account whether group care or care by the father or by family members or friends is being debated. Once qualitative child and baby care is seen divergently from the mother, this will have an impact on how we organize as a society.

Child and baby care and Penelope Leach

Sharing care or child and baby care by other people than the mother was not always okay. Back in the seventies, full-day attendance at a day nursery, with mother excluded by her own outside job and/or by professional staff, was considered to do a child considerable harm. It was actually Penelope Leach, a loved British psychologist and bestselling author who was one of the first to debate this matter and the effects on sharing care, in Who Cares? A New Deal for Mothers and Their Small Children written in 1979. But even today and in her last books The Essential First Year (2010) and Family Breakdown  (2014), she is extremely cautious about child and baby care in the first year.

Leach has been criticized for her view that young children require one-on-one attention, ideally provided by mothers or family members and which cannot be provided in day-care.

It is no coincidence that most research on child and baby care showed the opposite of what was actually done in that same period. We now know when children can be taken care by other or more people besides the mother, it does not leave her at a disadvantage in employment, politics or other areas of public life, and does not impose excessive demands on them that can produce so frustration and unhappiness.

Women can get out or combine it with an activity for which they have studied or are passionate about, which gives them their identity and there backbone in questioning moments. Sharing care, child and baby care or group care (more here)are not longer judged and criminalized as before.

child and baby care
A Domestic Scene, Annibale Carracci, 1582-1584, Credit Line Purchase, Mrs. Vincent Astor and Mrs. Charles Payson Gifts, Harris Brisbane Dick and Rogers Funds, 1972

 

fatherhood

The effect of active fatherhood on a child’s education

A Father’s Influence

Male Parental Units, or MPUs, as they are known in the 1993 movie “The Coneheads,” are vital influences in their children’s lives. More commonly known as fathers and dads, MPUs have strong effects on how their children develop. Research corroborates the idea that children benefit greatly from having a father’s presence.

The Fatherhood Initiative website reports that one in three children, about 24 million, in the United States do not live in homes with their biological fathers. Research on fatherhood has delved into the topic extensively, and the results of these studies indicate that fathers have powerful impacts on their sons and daughters. Let us have a look.

Research on Fathering and Fatherhood

Already back in 1978 dr Pilling and dr Pringle did some research for thei book ‘Controversial Issues in Child development‘. 1978. It revealed that fathering, fatherhood and love for fathers as a result of it has been associated with adjustment qualities both socially and emotionally. The lack of affection or inadequate affection is associated with delinquent behavior.

One of the clear results is verbal skill. It seems that children who are actively raised by fathers as well as mothers have a more developed verbal knowledge. The father is a second adult and therefore a second opportunity to talk.

Another interesting result was that mothers who are sharing the tasks of child rearing have a higher degree of self-confidence and this is in turn has an effect on the child. The child will in turn be given more autonomy and self-confidence. Therefore encouragement of independence and autonomy in decisions making has benefited children.

Another outcome of this study on fatherhood showed the ability decision-making when faced with choice and change, at least for the girls. This is a direct result of the development of women’s equality and liberation.

A 2006 study on fatherhood published in the Journal of Family Psychology that looked at father involvement in the lives of over 100 children of adolescent mothers discovered that when fathers were in contact with their children, the children had better socio-emotional and academic success. The study on fatherhood followed children under 10 years of age. Children in the study had higher reading scores and fewer behavioral difficulties. An important conclusion of this study was that fathers make significant differences for the better in the lives of their at-risk children. This is true even when dads don’t live with their children.

The best gift a father can give a child is self-esteem, according to Adrienne Burgess, the father of Fatherhood Reclaimed: The Making of the Modern Father. Burgess also holds that fathers who interact with their children have more influence over their children’s lives than fathers who do not spend as much time with them. Other studies on fatherhood have shown that being a good father can help children develop more satisfaction in their lives. They also have more satisfying relationships as adults.

Additionally, children with involved and present fathers have fewer criminal problems like abusing drugs, according to the Dad Info website. Burgess is quoted on the Dad Info website as saying,

“If you want to keep your child off drugs or out of gangs, the best way is to build a strong, positive relationship with them as a tiny child, then maintain that relationship as they grow up.”

In a 2007 study published in Acta Paediatrica the authors reviewed 24 publications and found that 22 “described positive effects of father development.” Even though living with both father and mother is connected to fewer “externalizing behavioural problems”, fatherhood that involved dads engaging with their children on a regular basis also led to a wide range of positive results in the children’s lives. Behavioral problems in boys and psychological problems in girls occurred less often.

Children of dads who are not in their lives at all often have more difficulties making friends. They also tend to become bullied or to bully others. They may think it’s their fault that their father is not around, feel grief, distress, and low self-esteem as adults. These children may also make their fathers out to be worse or much better men than they really are.

Children in families where a father-figure is present do better on intelligence tests than those without a father figure. This is especially true in non-verbal reasoning areas, like math and science. The IQ bump is thought to be connected to how fathers physically interact with their children and play with objects like blocks. On the other hand, a Chinese study on fatherhood uncovered that a father’s caring attitude toward his children helped predict their success in school, according to the Pathways to Family Wellness website.

Biological Fatherhood and live away fathers

Research shows that good fathers are not necessarily those who are biological fathers. They do not necessarily have to live in the same household as their children. A father-figure, step-dad, or non-resident dad keeps his temper and have consistent and sensible rules. They spend time with their children regularly, and they listen attentively to what they have to say.

A father does not have to be present in the home of a child to have a positive benefit. Fathers can benefit their children most by being active parts of their lives.

Researching Fathering / Fatherhood

Research on fathers and their impact on children is not an easy thing. Besides getting hold of them, knowing that you are being ‘researched’ and the artificiality of the situation influences obviously the results. But still there is consistent data coming out while using a variety of study methods.

One caution when interpreting this research is to know that active fathering is more present in middle and upper classes. This might impact the result when compared to the norm. It is also crucial to consider these results as a reflection of our times. These same studies might have been different last century when the society viewed men and women and mothers and fathers differently.

But, research shows in point of fact that father figures do have positive and long-lasting impacts on their children just by engaging with them in affirmative and encouraging ways.

Here you you will find a short but great video illustrating wonderful fatherhood.

fatherhood
First Steps, Franz Ludwig Catel, German, 1820–25, Credit Line The Whitney Collection, Promised Gift of Wheelock Whitney III