The day care debate would be only of mild interest to me, given that despite my own strong feelings on the matter, I equally strongly believe that circumstances can be complicated and parents are the best ones to make childrearing decisions for their own families—I say it would be only of mild interest were it not for the growing number of people who believe that "free" day care (paid for by taxes, of course) is the hallmark of civilization.

The other reason I present to you this article on the lastest results from the largest and longest-running study of American child care is the final paragraph.

The bad news, for families who avail themselves of day care centers, is that no matter how highly rated the center is, their children are statistically more likely to exhibit disruptive and aggressive behavior, even as late as sixth grade.  The good news is that the effect is small, and as compensation they'll have better vocabularies.

As one might imagine, those for whom any negative news about day care would be as welcome as positive news about smoking were quick to find fault with the study.  I could do so myself, noting that they would likely find even greater differences if they also considered the quality of home care, or the fact that all of the children in the study were consigned to day care centers in the form of school once they reached kindergarten age.  But it was the complaint that the study's measure of day care center quality left out important factors that drew my attention, to wit the last paragraph of the article:

The study did not take into account employee turnover that can have a negative effect on children, said Marci Young of the Center for the Child Care Workforce, which represents day-care workers.

There is no recognition in the article of the lovely irony here, for what is day care but "employee turnover" on a daily basis?

Posted by sursumcorda on Monday, March 26, 2007 at 6:55 am | Edit
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