January 26, 1999
Researchers affiliated with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) study of early child care will report that, in general, day care in the United States is "fair," but not outstanding. They will also report that several factors in the day care setting influence social competence (a child's ability to get along with peers). In addition, the researchers will state that parents have an important influence on their children's development, even when the children spend many hours in care.
The researchers will present these and other findings at a press briefing at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California, on Saturday, January 23 at noon, Pacific Time in the Palos Verdes room of the Anaheim Hilton Hotel, in Anaheim, California.
Initiated by the NICHD and conducted by investigators at the NICHD and 14 universities around the country, the study was spurred by the increase in the use of early child care over the past decade. In 1991, the NICHD study of early child care enrolled more than 1,300 families and their children from 10 locations throughout the United States. The children, who were less than one month old at the time they were enrolled in the study, have been followed through their first grade year.
"Day care has come into increasing use in recent years," said NICHD Director Dr. Duane Alexander. "NICHD's far reaching, comprehensive study will continue to provide valuable insights into what is, for many families, an absolute necessity."
At the AAAS briefing, several researchers from the study will present their findings:
"These findings are extremely important," said Dr. Sarah L. Friedman, NICHD coordinator of the study and one of its investigators. "The children in our study come from across the nation, from all walks of life--they experience child care ranging from the most informal (care by a relative) to the most structured (center care).
Dr. Friedman added that the children were observed repeatedly at home and in child care from the time they were six months of age. "This gives us confidence in the conclusions of our research and its relevance to decisions made regarding child care and the well being of children."
Investigators participating in the NICHD Early Child Care Study
Mark AppelbaumUniversity of California at San Diego(619) 534-7959(619) 534-7190 fax
Dee Ann BattenVanderbilt University(615) 343-1476(615) 343-1100 fax
Jay BelskyPennsylvania State University(814) 865-1447(814) 863-6207 fax
Kimberly Boller*Mathematica Policy Institute(609) 275-2341
Cathryn BoothUniversity of Washington at Seattle(206) 543-8074(206) 685-3349 fax
Robert BradleyUniversity of Arkansas at Little Rock(501) 569-3423(501) 569-8503 fax
Celia BrownellUniversity of Pittsburgh(412) 624-4510(412) 624-4428 fax
Peg BurchnalResearch Triangle Institute(919) 966-5059(919) 962-5771
Bettye CaldwellArkansas Children's Hospital,Department of Pediatrics(501) 320-3333(501) 320-1552 fax
Susan CampbellUniversity of Pittsburgh(412) 624-8792(412) 624-5407 fax
Alison Clarke-StewartUniversity of California at Irvine(714) 824-7191(714) 824-3002 fax
Martha CoxUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill(919) 966-2622(919) 966-7532 fax
Sarah L. FriedmanNational Institute of Child Health and Human Development(301) 496-9849(301) 480-7773 fax
Kathryn Hirsh-PasekTemple University(215) 204-5243(215) 204-5539 fax
Aletha HustonUniversity of Texas at Austin(512) 471-0753(512) 471-5844 fax
Elizabeth JaegerTemple University(215) 204-7894(215) 204-5539 fax
Bonnie KnokeResearch Triangle Institute(919) 541-7075(919) 541-5966 fax
Nancy MarshallWellesley College(617) 283-2551(617) 283-2504 fax
Kathleen McCartneyUniversity of New Hampshire(603) 862-3168(603) 862-4986 fax
Marion O'BrienUniversity of Kansas(913) 864-4801(913) 864-5202 fax
Margaret Tresch OwenUniversity of Texas at Dallas(972) 883-6876(214) 883-2491 fax
Chris PayneWestern Carolina Center(704) 438-6532(704) 438-6531 fax
Deborah PhillipsNational Academy of Sciences(202) 334-1935(202) 334-3768 fax
Robert PiantaUniversity of Virginia at Charlottesville(804) 243-5483(804) 243-5480 fax
Henry Ricciuti*Cornell University(607) 255-0844(607) 255-9856
Susan SpiekerUniversity of Washington at Seattle(206) 543-8453(206) 324-7261 fax
Deborah Lowe VandellUniversity of Wisconsin at Madison(608) 263-1902(608) 263-6448 fax
Kathleen Wallner-Allen*Research Triangle Institute(301) 496-9849(301) 480-7773
Marsha WeinraubTemple University(215) 204-7183(215) 204-5539 fax
*Affiliated with the NICHD during the course of the Early Child Care Study.