Sigman, A. (2011)
Mother Superior? The Biological Effects of Day Care
The Biologist. 58, 29-32

pdfMother Superior? The Biological Effects of Day Care (full summary)

  • This review summarises research on the effect of day care on the stress response and emotional development of babies and young children.
  • There is growing evidence that children in institutional day care situations have persistently raised levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and this correlates with results observed in animal models.
  • Children cared for by professionals in the home show small increases in cortisol and those cared for in day-care centres show larger increases.
  • There is some evidence that children who have spent a large part of their early childhood in day-care centres become more prone to stress as teenagers.