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Children the big losers with 24 hour childcare

MEDIA RELEASE
1 MAY 2006

Children the big losers with 24 hour childcare

24 hour childcare is claimed to be a reflection of changing working patterns and family arrangements.

“It is more an outcome of selfish parenting and faulty government policy,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First Lobby. “I sometimes question why adults bother to have children if they aren’t prepared to be parents.”

“Children involve sacrifice, change of lifestyle, and more of a “we” focus than a “me’ focus. That’s family life!

“24 hour childcare is simply parental selfishness. If parents knew the effect of childcare on their children, they would think again about the level of childcare which has become acceptable within New Zealand.

“As with the no-fault divorce laws, the effect on children of extended childcare has not been seriously considered.

According to 'The Daycare Project' at the University of London, childcare children who went to nurseries before the age of 9 months for more than 20 hours a week showed evidence of distress and negativism at 18 months and performed less well on language tests at 3 years, in spite of having parents with higher status jobs and salaries and more qualifications than other parents.

In a paper presented at 55th annual convention of the Canadian Psychological Association in 1994, a large scale synthesis from 88 studies concluded that regular non-parental care for more than 20 hours a week had an unmistakably negative effect on socio-emotional development, behaviour and attachment of young children.
They also estimated that regular non-parental care increased the risk of children developing insecure bonds by 66%.

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development survey reported in Time Magazine Apr 30 2001 found that children who spend most of their time in childcare were 3x more likely to exhibit behavioural problems as those cared for by mother. There was a direct correlation between time spent in childcare and aggression, defiance, disobedience, and demands having to be met immediately. 17% of kids who spend more than 30 hours a day in daycare have aggressive tendencies by kindergarten.

And recently published research by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of British Columbia, revealed that children in daycare were 17 times more hostile than children raised at home, and almost three times more anxious.

They found that the increased use of childcare was associated with a decrease in their well-being relative to other children. Reported fighting and other measures of aggressive behaviour increased substantially. These results were consistent with evidence from the National Institute of Child Health and Development Early Childcare Research Network (2003), showing that the amount of time through the first 4.5 years of life that a child spends away from his or her mother is a predictor of assertiveness, disobedience, and aggression.

“Full-time “hands-on”parenting is a child’s right, and a parent’s responsibility! It is also urgent that government policy and spending allow and encourage parents to fulfil this duty,” says Bob McCoskrie.

ENDS

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