Children who go to nursery ‘have better social skills and behaviour than those cared for at home by family or a childminder’

Children who go to nursery are better behaved and have fewer emotional problems than those cared for by family or a childminder, a study has found. The Daily Mail reports

The French study of 1,428 children up to the age of three, compared those who went to a nursery or crèche staffed by professionals with other more informal care settings.

The new study wanted to test the potential impact formal care settings from a young age could have on behaviour. The researchers found these youngsters were less likely to have emotional and behavioural problems later on in childhood, and more likely to have better social skills.

Scientists from Pierre Louis Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health in Paris tracked children’s emotional development from birth up to the age of eight.

Parents were asked a series of questions about their children’s behavioural and emotional problems at three, five-and-a-half, and eight years old, including any difficulties making friends, hyperactivity, poor attention, conduct, and social skills.

Around one in six children had behavioural problems including hyperactivity and low attention spans, while a similar number were found to have emotional issues.

Just under seven per cent had difficulties making friends while 13 per cent were judged to have poor social skills.

Analysis showed those who received formal care were less likely to have emotional and behavioural problems, and more likely to have better social skills than those looked after by family or friends.

Boys who went to nursery had fewer emotional problems, but those looked after by a childminder had more behavioural problems, according to the findings published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Read more Children who go to nursery ‘have better social skills and behaviour than those cared for at home by family or a childminder’

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