ERIC Number: ED265932
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Which Is Better for Young Children - Family Day Care or Center Care?
Snow, Charles W.
Using 20 comparative research studies, this paper compares advantages and disadvantages of family day care and center care. The results are discussed in terms of (1) the effects of family day care and center care on the intellectual, emotional, social, and physical development of young children and their parents; (2) the environmental differences between the two types of care; and (3) the implications for parents. For the most part, these research reports are contradictory and inconclusive, and only two rather weak trends are discerned. When differences between family day care and center care children are reported on measures of cognitive and motor performance, the results tend to favor center day care. On the other hand, studies reporting differences in emotional development tend to favor family day care. No consistent pattern of differences favoring either type of care emerges from studies of social behavior or physical growth and health. The environmental differences between the two settings are generally consistent with the two trends in studies reporting differential effects on the participants. Overall, on the basis of present evidence, no strong argument can be made for the superiority of either type of care. The paper concludes that center care and family day care are both viable options for parents who need out-of-home care for their children and that the most important consideration in comparing child care arrangements is the quality of care. The report concludes with a five-page bibliography. (Author/DST)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (New Orleans, LA, November 14-17, 1985).