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Early use of non-parental childcare is not harmful for most children
Date:9/27/2011

What type of childcare arrangements do parents choose before their children are 18 months old? Does the choice of childcare affect children's language skills and mental health at the age of five?

These are some of the questions that are explored in a new report prepared by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health as part of a collaborative project with the Ministry of Education and Research. The report indicates that there is no evidence that early centre-based childcare is harmful for most children.

Most pre-school children in Norway attend different types of childcare arrangements on a daily or weekly basis, and by far the majority are in centre-based childcare (kindergarten). In contrast to most other countries, children with physical and/or mental disabilities are not separated from the other children, but attend regular groups or classes in public kindergartens and schools.

Childcare is an important arena for language development and learning and for preventing and coping with mental health issues, regardless of the child's functional level. Because most children in Norway participate in childcare we have opportunities to learn about what the best arrangements are for learning, as well as how best to cope with daily challenges for children with different levels of functioning. The significance of different types of childcare for children's development is frequently discussed in many research groups as well as in the preschool education sector.

The aim of this report "Barnepass fram til 18 mneder. Sammenhenger mellom barnepass fram til 18 mneder og sprklige ferdigheter og psykisk fungering ved fem r" (English: Childcare up to 18 months. Relations between child care up to 18 months and language skills and mental function at five years) has been to provide more knowledge about the use of different childcare arrangements and how they affect children's functioning as well as the impact of starting in childcare at an early a
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Contact: Julie Johansen
julie.johansen@fhi.no
Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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