Do Children in Daycare Need Extra Support? (by Dalee Johnson)

Research Question & Introduction

The Research Question: Do children in daycare need extra support?

DaleeMy research question for The Culminating Project is something that applies to many parents and children in our nation today. My theme and volunteer work for this term focused on family and family services, so the wellbeing of children was very relative and was also extremely important to me. Having a three year old son and giving birth to another beautiful baby boy during this term, day care has been something that I’ve needed to think about. While there are many pros and cons to public child care systems, I wanted to inform the public about the long term emotional and behavioral effects in hopes that the outcomes of necessary day care can be more positive in the future.

The Research Collection and Annotations

1. Erickson, Jenet Jacob. “The Effects of Day Care on the Social-Emotional Development of Children.” The Heritage Foundation, n.d. Web. 02 June 2014.

This article explains the disadvantages of non-maternal day care. It provides statistics and graphs that illuminate working mothers and the need for child care. Negative effects are explained throughout the article, such as attachment insecurity, aggression, and other problematic social behaviors that stem from being in public day care for long periods of time at an early age. The author, Jenet Jacob Erickson, specializes in maternal and child wellbeing. She was also the assistant professor in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University. Her article provides insight to my research because a child suffering from behavioral problems that aren’t necessarily unavoidable, is a great indicator that children in day cares need more support.

2. Child Care in America 2012 State Facts Sheet (2012): 1-122. Childcare Aware of America. Web. 2 June 2014.

This source is all statistics. It is the Facts Sheet for 2012 and includes very important information ranging from how many children use day care, to how many children with a single working parent are in the United States, to how much day care costs and so on. The facts are provided for each state in the America, which is an extensive amount of information. I can use this for my Culminating project because bringing these family statistics into the project is going to give more knowledge on the bigger picture and how imperative it is to address because of the many families are affected by my topic.

3. Lewin, Tamar. “3 New Studies Assess Effects of Child Care.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 31 Oct. 2005. Web. 02 June 2014.

This article posted by The New York Times is similar to the first source I cited. It talks about the nocuous effects that daycare can have on a developing child. It also states that daycare is not entirely harmful. There are many benefits of daycare listed including the research that children in daycare score higher in both math and reading skills. The main reason I used this source is because it provides a quote that might be a powerful solution to the problem, suggesting that we focus on training teachers and caregivers to encourage and “foster” relationships, cooperation, and empathy.

4. Peterson, Carole. “Parent-Child Interaction and Daycare: Does Quality of Daycare Matter?” Science Direct. Elsevier, n.d. Web. 2 June 2014.

This source leads to information on an assessment to determine whether or not the quality of childcare was a factor in children developing behavioral problems. Because it is, this is beneficial information that relates to my theme. Low income families will not have many opportunities to find a quality daycare provider for their child. This is where one of the problems lie because the negative results of daycare lead to poorer work skills and less cooperation. This becomes a cycle and the children suffer.

The Public Writing

You can find Dalee’s writing at her blog:

Do children in daycare need extra support?

Nearly every parent questions whether or not day care is right for their child. Will it be worth the costs that can almost make working redundant? Does the constant exposure to illness outweigh the benefits of early learning? These are very legitimate and prevalent concerns, but the most important question a parent can ask is how being in a day care environment will shape their young child. Placement in child care at a young age has been linked to several emotionally and behaviorally nocuous results, and statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey suggest that 15,060,140 children under age six potentially need child care in the United States (Child Care in America). With such a high amount of kids needing care, it is imperative that the negative impacts of public child care be acknowledged.

While research states that children can benefit academically (scoring higher in math and reading) for many years after entering a day care system, evidence also implies that large amounts of time with public care providers can lead to children exhibiting “more demanding, more aggressive and more noncompliant” behaviors (New York Times). While these results come from many different factors, studies imply that quality of providers plays a role in these behavioral outcomes. With higher quality facilities, we will begin to see less negative effects coming from daycare. Deborah A. Phillips, professor of psychology, says, “We really need to begin to look more carefully at what is going on among the children in child care. It may be that we’re not doing a good job of training teachers on peer relationships, on how you foster cooperation and empathy.” By ensuring families are offered truly enriching environments for their children, we can change what might otherwise be a new generation of increasingly uncooperative and aggressive people.

We need to come action for the sake of instilling social skills, self-control, and values into children. Daycare can be a beautiful place for kids to grow and learn. We can help achieve this by making sure parents are involved, remembering that their child might need that extra sense of security after so many hours at daycare, and making sure teachers acknowledge the importance of their role in an impressionable child’s life.




  1. Petra

    I really enjoyed your writing. It is a subject I used to think of a lot when my kids were in daycare. I always felt it was important for the children to be with other kids, but I also remember how many times they were sick because they were surrounded by so many other children. Just like you mention in your blog I was very curious on how daycare would shape my children in later life. I chose at that time a private daycare with only 6 or 7 kids all together.
    It surprises me that there is a relationship between daycare and achieving higher in academics and I wonder what this is based on? Is it because daycares actually teach, and are they achieving higher if they were in daycares that did not do much or no academic work?
    I think you did great work! Thank you for sharing.

  2. aubrey

    I feel as though your blog post is very strong. I agree with you that it takes more effort from the parents and child care provider as the child gets older to ensure the stability of the child being put in daycare. Your sources are also very strong, i like the variety as well that you provided. Possibly if you shared more of your personal story through your public writing rather than adding sources this would greatly improve your writing. I enjoyed your research question and the articles you provided. great job!

  3. Carissa Grady

    Your writing is amazing and it definitely made me look at the otherside of how daycare works. When I was younger, I spent a lot of time in daycare because my mom was a single mom and she needed the help for work. So I can see the good and the bad in both sides of your argument. I think that a lot of people need to know what kind of side effects that can happen when children stay in daycare.

    I think that one thing that I think would make your piece a bit stronger would be to include the opposite side of the argument as well. As well as maybe a personal story would make it stronger!

    Fantasic Job!

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