Daycare is an essential issue in child Psychology as there is a debate regarding whether it is positive for development as it offers stimulation or whether it is detrimental as it takes children away from their natural caregiver.
Daycare is a situation where a child is cares for by someone other than its parents for some part of the day. It can vary from short-term care in a crèche to full-time care in a nursery. Belsky is a critic of daycare and used the strange situation to determine the impact that intensive daycare has on early childhood attachment. He found that early and intensive daycare results in children being insecurely attached than children where the onset was later and less intensive. He recommended that young children, under the age of two, should not be placed in daycare for any time over 20 hours. Yet, his conclusions may not be valid as the strange situation may not be an effective tool for assessing as daycare itself results in prolonged separation that they can be accustomed to. Equally, Belsky can be criticised as he does not account for the quality of daycare in his studies.
Andersson performed a study in Sweden which indicated that good quality daycare led to positive social and intellectual advantages. She showed that centres with qualified staff with a low staff turnover were able to provide beneficial social, emotional and cognitive effects for children. Yet, all studies into daycare can be criticised as they cannot control all the variables that are significant to a child’s development such as temperament, parenting style or economic background.
Longitudinal studies have also been effectively used of assessing the long term effects of day care on child development. The NICHD study in the USA tracked 1200 children from birth to when they started school. Results indicated that children were more likely to have behavioural problems like aggressiveness but, equally they also found that children with a deprived economic background were...