• Growing Up in Ireland study

    Posted on December 9, 2016 by in News Updates

    growing-up-in-ireland-studyIn November, the latest report from The Growing Up in Ireland study from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) was launched. The study, Childcare, Early Education and Socio-Emotional Outcomes at Age 5,  investigates the effects of childcare in early life on children’s socio-emotional development at age five using a large representative sample of children (circa 9,000) from the Growing Up in Ireland study. Parents were interviewed when children were nine months, 36 months and five years old; the teachers of the five-year-olds were also interviewed.

    The study found that while care of more than 30 hours per week was associated with a small negative affect, high quality early years care and education was found to offset the potential negative impacts of social disadvantage and family factors. However, a range of other factors are of far greater importance for five-year-olds’ emotional and social wellbeing than whether they were cared for in a creche or at home. These include social class, mental health of parents, number of parents, children’s own health and their gender.

    Other findings include:

    • Care provided by relatives at age three was assessed by parents as giving rise to somewhat fewer socio-emotional difficulties and by teachers and parents to result in better social skills by age five.
    • Children cared for by non-relatives, such as a childminder, at age three were rated by parents and teachers as having fewer emotional difficulties than children in full-time parental care.
    • Those in centre-based care at age three were said by teachers to have slightly more socio-emotional difficulties at age five, compared to those who had been cared for by parents only.
    • However, parents rated their five-year-olds who had been in centre-based care at age three to have fewer emotional and peer problems, but marginally higher conduct problems, compared to children in full-time parental care.
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