Evid Based Nurs 1:75 doi:10.1136/ebn.1.3.75
  • Treatment

Review: non-parental daycare has short term and long term benefits for preschool children

 Question What are the effects of out of home daycare on educational, health, and welfare outcomes for preschool children and their families?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching Medline, Embase, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, Social Science Citation Index, PsycLIT, ERIC, and BIRD databases; hand searching journals (1977–96); scanning bibliographies of relevant papers, books, reports, and conference proceedings; and contacting authors.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they included children <5 years of age who received non-parental day care and if they used randomised or quasi-randomised methods to allocate participants to groups.

Data extraction

Data were extracted on changes in children's developmental and intelligence quotients (IQ), school performance, behaviour, and health and on maternal employment, fertility, and interaction with children.

Main results

8 studies of disadvantaged populations in the US met the inclusion criteria. Compared with no daycare, daycare led to increased IQ at age 3 years (weighted mean difference [WMD] 14.4, 95% CI 12.3 to 16.4, 4 studies) and at age 5 …

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