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more than 10 hours of daycare & emotional development

(10 Posts)
chatname Sat 09-Aug-08 21:20:58

I found the above article elsewhere on mumsnet. It suggests that more than 10hrs a week of day care can impair a child's emotional development. DS starts 3 days a week care in Jan. He will be 7.5 months. Can you give me some links to research that will reassure?


chelsygirl Sat 09-Aug-08 21:23:02

don't read it if it'll put you off, if you need to work you need to work, these articles sometimes don;t help

chatname Sun 10-Aug-08 07:39:16

Well, we could reorganise our plans a bit. I thought that starting nursery fairly young would help get him used to it, and to being with other children (he's likely to be an only child).

I'm the main breadwinner; I have a great, vocational type job that pays well, so I don't mind that. I can work from home half a day and dh will be doing 2 days childcare so it's really 2 and a half days or 20 hours. But I didn't think that would affect junior's emotional development - he would be spending the other 120 hours with us!

DontCallMeBaby Sun 10-Aug-08 08:22:58

That article starts off talking about over ten hours a week in nursery, then quickly slides into talking only about what the author admits is the worst case scenario: "having to put their babies into poor quality, full-time nursery care before the age of six months". Full-time at the nursery DD goes to is 42.5 hours a week, over double what you're talking about. Your DS is over six months, and obviously you'll be hoping that the nursery provides good care, not poor quality. Nowhere near that worst case, and even if it was, that doesn't equate to a guarantee that he'd be adversely affected.

Purely anecdotally, the one area in DD's nursery-to-school transfer report where she was assessed as more mature than her peers* was in emotional development - and she's been at nursery 27 hours a week since just before six months.

* admittedly her peers in this respect all go to nursery ... but many have only been there since 2 or 3, not since babyhood.

lowrib Sun 10-Aug-08 08:56:31

Certainly not suggesting that everyone should stay at home, but if you actually have the luxury of choice, and you're really only putting my child into daycare because you think it will be good for him, then I would think it's certainly worth reconsidering.

Don't forget 2 1/2 days is much longer in to a child than to us.

With all the will in the world, a daycare centre is never going to be as good as one-to-one. I worked in daycare many years ago, briefly. I really wasn't keen on some of what I saw in daycare, particularly for the very young ones, once the parents had gone.

Perhaps I was just unlucky - I only worked in one nursery, and perhaps the place near you is great, but my experiences have put me off and personally this would be the last option for me for a very young child, although of course often needs must and you just have to get on with it.

If you want hime to spend time with other children, how about a play group?

Hope that helps (and I haven't opened up a whole can of worms re being a working mum!!)

chatname Sun 10-Aug-08 10:07:00

The issue is being the main bread winner as well. Dh is going to be the main carer but he will get v fed up at home full time; I could go back 4 days a week, say, for a bit though. The nursery is a very good one - they do baby yoga etc.

When I went to see the nursery I was shown around by a manager who seemed both eperienced and intelligent. She was very reassuring re starting at a young age and said that there were benefits re socialization and that there could be more problems re attachment if children started later. Wondering about what evidence there is either way.

CJMommy Sun 10-Aug-08 10:13:09

I go back to work in 3 weeks. DS is 7 months and will be in full-time nursery. I have no choice; need to work but I also have no problem with this now. I just avoid reading articles like the one you mentioned as they only serve to make me feel guilty.

Ellbell Sun 10-Aug-08 10:25:58

chatname I was in a similar position to you when my dds were babies (main breadwinner in what you call a 'vocational-type job'). Dh was a student when dd1 was born and was offered the job that he is doing now just before dd2 was born. Dh was nearly 40 by this point (having been a mature student - long story) and really wanted to accept the job, even though it meant him working 'for nothing' (i.e. only to pay the nursery fees - we had two dds under 2 at the time!) in the first instance. Me not working was never an option, both by choice and for financial reasons. So my dds were in nursery full time (yes, 5 days a week - most days from 10 till somewhere between 4 and 5) from when I went back to work after dd2 was born (she was 7 months). I know this is only anecdotal evidence - maybe I just got lucky - but they are fine. They are both stable, loving and secure. Dd2 in particular (she's 6 now) has always been very 'emotionally intelligent', in the sense that she quickly picks up on the moods of the people around her and always notices if someone needs extra attention or a cuddle or whatever. She does this with her friends at school too.

I think that the nursery manager is being a teensy bit disingenuous about the attachment thing, insofar as this is a phase that most children go through, and starting your ds now won't necessarily mean that he won't have a clingy phase between 12 and 18 months (both my dds did, but it didn't last long, and I always lurked outside the nursery door and was reassured that they stopped crying as soon as they couldn't see me any more!).

Another thing to think about is whether a more home-like atmosphere might be better for your ds. When my dds were small I was adamant that I wanted them to go to nursery because I didn't want them to be in a home situation where there was another woman in 'my' mothering role [insecure emoticon]. Anyway, we were lucky in having a really nice nursery at the end of our road! However, we moved house when my dds were 3 yrs and 18 months old and there was no good nursery where we lived so we decided to go with a childminder instead. She has been wonderful. She has the status of a 'special auntie' - the girls love her, but they are in no doubt as to who their mother is! The advantage of a cm is that your ds would be in a home environment where the carer is more likely to follow his routine and his/your preferences, rather than him having to fit in with a nursery's routine (e.g. all the toddlers sleep after lunch - which never worked for my dd1, who dropped her afternoon sleep at shock 12 months shock).

But I suppose what I am saying overall is, don't be freaked by the research. You have to do what works for you and your family. And, if you can (it's taken me a while to get to this stage!) be proud of the choices you've made. You are setting your ds a great example of equality within the family, of what women can achieve outside the home, and so on (and this is not to disparage people who make different choices - it's just what's right for you)... all of which will stand him in good stead and hopefully help him to become a well-balanced adult and an understanding husband and father in his turn.

OK... I've gone on far too long, but I hope this is in some way reassuring.

chatname Sun 10-Aug-08 10:32:33

I'm sorry; I wouldn't want to make anyone feel guilty!

I have found some interesting articles here

They include ones with the following straplines:

Daycare "just as good as being with mother"

Pre-school better than staying at home

Nursery 'boosts child's success'

Pre-school better than staying at home

as well as some more negative ones. I guess I am interested in coming to an understanding of a balanced view of the literature on this, especially as we have the luxury of being able to make choices here. I would hope that there might be people in this forum who could advise, as I don't know much about this subject! if that is alright.

blueshoes Sun 10-Aug-08 12:58:25

chatname, you got to do what you have to do.

As your links suggest, there are advantages and disadvantages to using childcare. The key is how is YOUR ds going to adapt to the specific nursery or childcare you use. If he is happy and thriving (barring the occasional wobble which is very normal), then just go for it.

If you observe your ds and feel that nursery, your first choice does not work, then consider a childminder or nanny, or reduce the hours - until you find the solution which works, which could include your dh putting in those childcare hours. You can be flexible about this. Nothing is set in stone.

Reports like the 10 hours business have no relevance to your life and ds if ds is otherwise happy and getting lots of stimulation and activities in a lively setting. You just have to do it and evaluate from there.

BTW, I have 2 dcs who attended ft nursery from about a year old and in ds' case, an aupair to help with the nursery run. As far as I can see, nursery to them is that fun place to do things with friends and nice ladies who care for them. Home is mummy and daddy cuddling and taking them out to see things. It is a nice life.

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