Long-term correlates of early child care and maternal employment were examined in a representative sample of 333 6- to 12-year-old middle-class children. Intellectual, social, and behavioral development and parent-child relationships were related to nonparental infant care, center or preschool experiences, and maternal employment. Contextual analyses included child, parent, and family covariates related to choice of child care and children's development. Preschool and center day care was associated with slightly higher Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R) Vocabulary scores and externalizing t scores on the Child Behavior Checklist. In addition, for African American children, center preschool experience was associated with 10-point-higher verbal intelligence scores and better ratings of positive behavioral attributes by parent and observers. Nonparental care during infancy and maternal employment patterns during the preschool years were not consistently related to the outcomes. The results of this study further support the growing consensus that the effects of early child care experiences must be considered in the context of parent, family, and child characteristics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science