The Effect of Day Care on Children
Because many stay at home mothers are entering the work force, there is a higher demand for day care centers for the mothers’ children. The topic of day care centers and whether they are beneficial to young children is becoming discussed more frequently. An increasing number of parents are becoming more cautious about the type of childcare they choose for their children. Some parents are adhering to the traditional way of raising their children by staying at home and caring for them. However, other parents have no other option other than to send their children to a day care facility due to both parents’ work schedules. Researchers have performed studies in which they examined children’s development in different child care settings and the effect those types of daycares have on them.
Mothers who decide their job is to stay at home and raise their children instead of continuing with their career, argue that there are many negative effects of daycare. One of the negative consequences of sending a child to daycare is that he or she is at a greater risk for becoming ill more often. CNN contributor Denise Mann (2010) wrote that babies under two and a half years old are diagnosed with more ear and respiratory infections in a day care center than at home. Mann also shared a story about a working mother of two who was constantly at the hospital or doctor’s office with her sick daughters. The doctor told the mother that although her daughters were sick at that time, their immune systems would be stronger by the time they began to attend elementary school. Children who attend day care have a health advantage, even though it may not seem like an advantage at that time. The doctor stated that the children’s immune systems will be stronger than their classmates, which will eventually lead to fewer infections in the future.
Children who have attended day care are more likely to have fewer infections in elementary school than children who did not attend day care. However, the children that did attend day care showed symptoms of respiratory tract infections and allergies. A study in northwest Texas showed that children who attended a child care center reported more cases of asthma and allergies than children who did not attend a child care center (Sun & Sundell, 2011, p. 794). Both Mann’s article and the northwest Texas study conclude that if a child attends day care before elementary school, he or she may become ill often while there. Despite this, the child’s immune system is becoming stronger and is preparing itself for the exposure to illnesses. However, the child may develop certain allergies or asthma, which could have long term effects.
Healthy and nutritional foods also play a role in a child’s physical health. With over 70 percent of children in day care, and the growing interest in the topic of childhood obesity, daycares are attempting to provide children with healthier snacks and meals. Studies show that a...