December 9, 1988

Day-care Quality and Quantity Become Challenges for Parents, Politicians, and Medical Researchers

JAMA. 1988;260(22):3247-3249. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410220017004

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A FEW YEARS ago, day care was rarely discussed on Capitol Hill. But by last fall, it had become a major issue in the presidential campaign. There seems to be no doubt in political circles that the question of day care is not one of "if" but of "how" and "how much."

Unlike the politicians, day care was heatedly discussed among psychologists a few years ago. Today, although disagreements remain, consensus has been reached on some issues.

Quality and Stability  Experts agree that children can do well with high-quality, stable supplemental care. Researchers are still debating the significance of existing research data, while uniformly calling for additional data to sort out the myriad of factors that have an impact on an infant's development.Little debate exists over supplemental care for children over ages 2 1/2 to 3 years old. A long experience with nursery and preschools has provided ample evidence