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Omnibus 2 SRCD     2  

In a series of earlier presentations and publications, we have reported that three aspects of early child care—quality, quantity, and type—were related to children’s functioning just prior to kindergarten. Higher quality child care was associated with higher pre-academic skills and language performance. More hours in care predicted higher levels of behavior problems. More experience in center-type care was linked to better language skills and performance on a memory task, but also more problem behaviors.

The purpose of the current report is to extend our previous work to ask if effects of child care are evident through the primary grades.

SLIDE 5: FOUR POSSIBILITIES

We considered four possibilities: that effects are carried forward, that they serve as a spring board. A third possibility is that early effects have dissipated or disappeared by grade 3. A fourth possibility is that new effects emerge during the primary grades

SLIDE 6:   ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATIONS.

In all nonexperimental studies of child care, selection bias is a concern. Consequently, in the current study, effects associated with early child care were tested after controlling for an extensive array of family factors and using growth curve analyses in which the child served as his or her own control.

A related concern is that effects may be explained by unmeasured or omitted variables. In the case of school-aged children, concurrent experiences at home, school, or after school may account for developmental trajectories during the primary grades, rather than the children’s earlier child-care histories. Consequently, in the current study, concurrent measures parenting, of the quality of classroom instruction in the primary grades, and of the amount of out-of-school care in the primary grades were included as covariates

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