The Uncomfortable Truth about Daycare

More women in the workforce means that more children need some form of child care. But when it comes to daycare — something that instinctively worries many parents — few are willing to take a hard look. The media, which seemingly report constantly on alarming new risks to children, rarely present the public with information from studies on the impact of daycare, especially when the findings suggest that daycare is associated with significant negative outcomes. Parents care about their children’s well-being and must balance the benefits associated with more income against the benefits of staying home to take care of them. But good decision-making on the part of both families and policymakers depends on clear-eyed, honest assessments of the best scientific research — no matter how difficult the conclusions may be. Researchers must be honest with themselves and with their readers about what their data really show, especially when the results contradict popular opinion. The well-being of future generations is too important to continue making individual decisions and public policies with skewed information. This article provides some degree of robust research to foster a more robust, and well-informed, decision-making process.

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