Day Care

What is Day Care?

You need to be able to define what is meant by ‘day care’ (Day care is temporary care and supervision provided for a child by someone other than the child’s parents/guardian or other relative. Day care can take a variety of different forms including day nurseries, nannies or childminders. Day care is distinct from institutionalized care where children are cared for 24 hours a day away from their families, as in a children’s home or orphanage.and you should have already done this in your independent research project at the start of this topic.)
Some of the studies that you will look at are quite old and nowadays there are strict guidelines about the quality of care provided and providers have to be registered and inspected regularly. There is also a national curriculum in the UK for children aged 0-5. Fidn out more here: eyfs_res_stat_frmwrk[1].pdf
When answering exam questions in this area it is vital that you are able to discuss research studies and evaluate them effectively.

Researching day care: Let’s think!

How do you think psychologists might go about researching the effects of day care on children?
What would their hypotheses state/would they be directional or non-directional?
What research methods/designs would they use? What would their variables be? and how would they be operationalised?
How would they find particpants? What type of samples would they use?
What sort of materials would they need?
What procedure would the follow out?
What ethical considerations would need to be made?
How might they control for confounding variables?
What data would they collect?and how would it be analysed?
Most importantly what problems might they run into when conducting this type of research and could these problems be overcome?
Mediating factors: Have a think about all the factors which might mediate/affect whether day care leads to positive or negative outcomes for development; think about factors relating to the individual child/family, day care establishment itself, time, etc.

Describe and evaluate research into daycare

Start by making notes from p 128-130 of Blue Eysenck using this notetaker sheet: day care.doc
Print off your day care study cards here: day care study cards.doc
You need to sort the cards according to whether the study was about cognitive development or social development; once you have done this you need to sort each pile into studies which suggest that day care has advantages for development and those that suggest daycare has disadvantages for development.
Cognitive development
Cognitive development refers to the changes that occur over time in terms of an infants and/or child’s thinking skills and ability to select and organise information and to make inferences. A cognitive skill include reasoning, problem solving and memory and is often assessed using batteries of tests which give an overall score known as IQ. Cognitive development can also be assessed by looking at academic performance at school although this may not represent a child’s underlying ability. Cognitive development is shaped by both genetic inheritance and experiences within the social and cultural environment.
Social development
Social development refers to the changes that occur over time in terms of an infants and/or child’s ability to relate to others, to show empathy, to communicate and play, to form positive relationships with others including friendships and ability to interact with peers and other adults. A child’s social development is shaped by their temperament (genetic factors, nature) and by experiences within the social and cultural environment (nurture).
Now you need to complete the table to record and show how you categorised the studies. cogsoc table incomplete.doc
You can check your answers here: cogsoc table.doc
Summary handout; may be useful for revision: day care handout.doc
How can day care be improved in the light of psychological research findings: Improving day care.doc

Studies which highlight the advantages and disadvantages of day care

You now need to look more closely at one study which demonstrates the advantages of day care and one which demonstrates the disadvantages:
Disadvantages: Belsky and Rovine (1988): See p. 63-64 Angles for further information about Belsky and Rovine (1988) which demonstrates possible disadvanatges, and also the handout here: Belsky and Rovine.docx
Advantages: The EPPE project Sylva et al (2004): The EPPE project is an up to date, UKL, longitudinal study which demonstrates the advantages of day care. Read more detail here: here: The EPPE project.doc

Additional sources of information

This lovely powerpoint was designed by a teacher at another school and cribbed from psychexchange. It considers the impact of the day care experience on social development. It looks specifically at research which explores whether peer relations are enhanced and hindered by day care and whether aggression is increased or decreased in children attending day care. It also explores factors which mediate the relationship between these variables: day care.pptx
Similarly this day care presentation was also cribbed from psychexchange and it considers research into the effects of day care on cognitive developmentAQA_AS_dev_daycarecogpres.ppt

Practice questions

Outline what is meant by day care (3)
Describe and evaluate research into daycare (12)
Describe one study which demonstrates the advantages of daycare for the child (6)
Describe one study one which demonstrates the disadvantages of daycare for the child (6)
Evaluate one study which demonstrates the advantages of daycare for the child (6)
Evaluate one study which demonstrates the disadvantages of daycare for the child (6)

Sample essay on effects of day care: Discuss the effects of day care on cognitive and.doc