Mother and Baby

Why Getting The Best Childcare Is So Important

Your child’s intelligence won’t be affected by whether your child is looked after by you, another family member or a childminder – only the quality of the care will make a difference

Leaving your child in the hands of another person while you go to work can be tough (especially when your baby’s crying for you not to leave – we’ve all been there!) but it doesn’t mean that your child’s development will suffer. And it leaves you to get some of your pre-baby life back and some time to work on yourself.  

A new study, conducted by the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Oxford, has revealed that while kids who go to day care centres or are looked after by childminders can be more hyperactive, no childcare is perfect. 

While kids who go to day care centres or are looked after by childminders can be more hyperactive, no childcare is perfect

The researchers found that the most consistent influences on child behaviour came from the home environment, however kids left in the care of a nanny demonstrated a willingness to help others.

And children who attended pre-school playgroup showed less peer-related problems, while those looked after by their grandparents have more peer problems – for obvious age difference related reasons.

A total of 991 families were analysed in the study, with parents being questioned when their children were three months old and then four years. Non-parental caregivers were also observed by the researchers for at least 90 minutes.

‘The findings suggest that it might be out of home care rather than group care that raises the risk of behavioural difficulties,’ the researchers said. ‘These findings suggest that interventions to enhance children's emotional and behavioural development might best focus on supporting families and increasing the quality of care in the home.’

But Professor Kathy Sylva of Oxford University told MailOnline, ‘Studies of early childcare have shown that early childcare before 18 months was related to slightly higher mental ability and no adverse effects. The same study showed that childcare of higher quality had a benefit for children’s learning.’

So, overall, whether you look after your child each day or someone else does, all that matters is that you know your little one is in safe hands. 

Do you think the care your child has affects his behaviour? Let us know below.


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