Jennifer Caldwell Final Research Narrative
The Effects of Daycare on Children
Every morning on your way to work, you have to drop your three year old son off at a daycare. This is the case for most parents who work and have young children. Even though most parents are not completely satisfied with sending their children to daycare, it has become a necessary tool for parents so they can continue to earn money and support the family. When parents drop their children off at daycare, they are giving their child to someone else for the majority of the day. These children will make friends, they will learn who to obey, and they will be developing their behaviors and habits all while you are away at work.
This topic of daycare is extremely interesting to me. I believe that although daycare may be necessary, it may be more harmful than we thought for children. I decided to focus on daycare as my subtopic to our groups overall theme of developmental health. This topic is interesting to me because I am a Human Development and Family Studies Major and I have learned about childhood development. Childhood development struck me as interesting, because of how influential certain people or programs can be on children. I have read a few studies about daycares and how they affect children positively and negatively and I am interested in researching it more so that I can bring a different side to developmental health.
When I began my research on daycare systems I first started with asking the question of how it could be harmful for children to attend daycare. I was overwhelmed by the amount of research I found supporting the side of negative effects of daycare on children. There were two main themes I found in my research, the first was physical health problems, and the second was behavioral problems. First, I will explain the research I found on the physical health side. In almost every study I looked at concerning health, they talked about how prone children are to getting sick while they are at a daycare setting. Studies show that kids in daycare settings are more likely to get asthma, meningitis, whooping cough, or even hepatitis B according to research done by Susan Semenak in the Gazette News. Another major concern I found in my research was the food they children were eating at daycares. Daycares are not spending enough money on food for children to make sure they are receiving adequate nutrients in their meals.
When I was researching the behavioral problems I found in children that attend daycares, I found massive amounts of information. These studies were talking about how children in daycare usually become more antisocial, more violent, and more mischievous. Some children go home with scrapes or bruises from daycare; not from falling on the ground, but instead from the other children being violent. Another thing I researched showed that most children when talking about daycare remember negative memories, whereas they remember positive memories when talking about their families. Spending less time with family, and more time in a daycare setting with antisocial and violent children is proving to be very harmful.
After researching what the initial problems were in daycares, I decided to research more and see if I could find specific examples or stories of these problems. I found one newspaper article by Ann Landers that mentions a story of a three year old boy who came home bruised and scratched from the other children at daycare. The Grandmother of this young boy was very concerned and called the daycare, the worker there insisted that, that kind of behavior is completely normal, and that the children will figure out when to stop on their own. This was amazing to me that this violence really does exist in daycares, and even worse, the people who work there and who are supposed to be taking care of your child are doing absolutely nothing to stop it.
I looked up another story about physical health and found one about the amount of money daycares are spending on the food they give the children there. A newspaper article in the Toronto Star found a daycare that was spending less than four dollars on the children’s meals for the entire day. The parents were appalled at the lack of quality of food their children were eating. The parents were spending over sixty dollars a day for daycare and less than a twelfth of that was going to their children’s food.
I decided to research more on behavioral problems to see if I could find more examples. In the London Times, Alexandra Frean talks about how children who are in daycare usually become more antisocial. She thinks this may be caused by overexposure to too many children. She also says that because of the overexposure, these children can sometimes have a very high anxiety level. She talks about how children need more time with their families; children are spending more of their time with strangers than their own parents.
This research was overwhelming, and the negative effects that I found were astounding. After reading about negative effects of daycare and specific examples, I decided to see if I could find any research about the positive effects or programs they offer as a daycare. I found an article by Raymond Burke and colleagues titled, “Don’t Kick Me Out,” this article was fascinating because it talked about specific programs that offer more support and attention to kids who have behavioral problem. This was encouraging to hear, and I am glad that there are positive programs out there for children who need to be away from their parents. In the same article I researched about the quality of food and the money they were spending on food, I found a man who was trying to make a difference. He came up with a plan to spend only fifty more cents on the food, and the effects were tremendous. There are problems in the daycare setting; however there are people who are trying to change that.
While researching this subtopic of daycare in our main theme of developmental health, I found a lot of good research that will help me create a very effective advocacy plan and alphabetic paper. I found the effects of daycare, specific examples, and how they are trying to improve it. I can use all of this in my paper and I think it will help my group when we put our final project together. The topic of developmental health is a large topic, but with all of our subtopics together, it will be a very effective piece.