Good Day Care Linked to Good Grades Later

4½-year-olds in 'high-quality' care perform better as teens
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2010 5:30 PM CDT
Good Day Care Linked to Good Grades Later
Luis Moreno, president of the Inter American Development Bank, BID, right, talks with a student during a visit to the Marie Esther catholic school in Port-au-Prince, Friday, May 14, 2010.   (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

Kids who spend a lot of time in high-quality child care perform better academically than those who don't, even as much as 10 years later. Researchers looked at 1,364 youngsters, analyzing their academic records in the context of the kind and amount of child care they received. Previous studies have demonstrated links between IQ or other metrics and quality daycare, but this is the first to demonstrate improvement so many years later, LiveScience reports.

Overall, 40% of the students were in "high-quality" care. Those students did better on cognitive and academic tests at age 4½, and the gap persisted even at age 15. Although the correlation is strong, the researchers caution against assuming that child care causes the improvements—other factors like, for example, having the kind of parents who put their kid in quality care environments, may be more responsible for the changes. The researches also found that young kids cared for by people other than their parents grow into risk-talking adolescents.
(More cognitive development stories.)

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