Parents have two options when choosing day care for their kids: commercial day care and home care (in someone’s home). Both should be investigated carefully before enrolling your kid(s). Ask questions of the staff; talk to parents of other children at the center; look over the center carefully; and ask plenty of questions.
The headline was wrong. The source of the mistake is the latest development of a $200 million study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Since 1991, a team of researchers has been tracking more than 1,300 children, following them from infancy through various child-care settings (home with parent, home with another relative, home with nanny, or at day care) and/or in elementary school.
The differences in quality of care among all settings are small, and the correlation between a longer time spent in day care and a reduction in the quality of care is modest. On average, day care for infants and toddlers is worse than for preschoolers. Communities should improve day care for infants and toddlers. Infant day care is more expensive because states require more staff for babies. And younger kids don’t benefit from being in a group like the older children do. The youngest thrive on one-on-one attention.