Hours in non-parental child care are related to language development in a longitudinal cohort study

M.P.C.M. Luijk, M. Linting, J. Henrichs, C.M. Herba, M.L. Verhage, J.J. Schenk, L.R. Arends, H. Raat, V.W. Jaddoe, A. Hofman, F.C. Verhulst, H.W. Tiemeier, M.H. van IJzendoorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background
The effects of child care services on several domains of child development have been extensively investigated, but evidence regarding the effects of child care on language development remains inconclusive.
Methods
Within a large-scale population-based study, we examined the longitudinal associations between non-parental child care and language development from 1 to 6 years (n = 5375).
Results
Results showed that more hours in non-parental child care were associated with better language abilities. However, more hours in care in the first year of life were associated with less language proficiency at ages 1 to 1.5. At later ages, this effect disappeared and language proficiency increased. Furthermore, children who spent more hours in centre-based care had better language scores than children in home-based care. Ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender or parity did not change these results.
Conclusions
This large, multi-ethnic study demonstrates beneficial effects of non-parental child care, particularly centre-based care, on language proficiency later in childhood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1188-1198
JournalChild: Care, Health and Development
Volume41
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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