Parents often feel a sense of guilt and worry when their child goes to crèche, preschool or a private childminder for the first time.
If you’ve ever worried about leaving their little one in a crèche or with a childminder, you’ll be glad to hear this news.
Researchers have found that spending time in a nursery or a crèche or with a childminder actually has positive benefits for pre-schoolers.
Researchers at Oxford University found leaving a young child in a nursery setting or with a childminder for up to 35 hours per week is actually beneficial for the child. However, anything beyond 35 hours was shown to have a detrimental effect, according to The Telegraph.
A study of 6,000 toddlers found that attending crèche or nursery helped children improve their language and socio-emotional skills. Regardless of their home environment, children flourished while receiving early education outside the home.
The study found early education and care was even more important if a child came from a poor or disadvantaged background.
“The benefits of early education and care were found regardless of a child’s family level of disadvantage,” the report said.
“Specifically, education and care with childminders at age two had a significant positive effect on children’s language development and behaviour at the age of three.”
It’s believed the group environment and interacting with other kids has a positive effect on pre-schoolers’ socio-emotional skills.
“Group-based settings such as nurseries and playgroups were also shown to have positive effects on children’s socio-emotional development including how well they get along with other children,” the report said.
The Study of Early Education and Development is funded by the Department for Education and tracks the development of 6,000 young children between the ages two to seven.
It is the biggest longitudinal study of its kind into the effects of early education.
The author of the report, Professor Edward Melhuish, a researcher from Oxford University’s Department of Education said: “The results from our study show how important children’s early environments, both at home and out-of-home, are for helping their development and well-being.”
What do you think mums? Has attending crèche or a childminder outside the home benefited your toddler? Let us know your thoughts on the matter.