NIH News Release
National Institute of Child Health
and Human Development

Saturday, January 23, 1999
12:00 PM EST
Robert Bock
(301) 496-5133

NICHD Child Care Study Investigators to Report on Child Care Quality
Higher Quality Care Related to Less Problem Behavior

Researchers affiliated with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) study of early child care will report that, in general, day care in the United States is "fair," but not outstanding. They will also report that several factors in the day care setting influence social competence (a child's ability to get along with peers). In addition, the researchers will state that parents have an important influence on their children's development, even when the children spend many hours in care.

The researchers will present these and other findings at a press briefing at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California, on Saturday, January 23 at noon, Pacific Time in the Palos Verdes room of the Anaheim Hilton Hotel, in Anaheim, California.

Initiated by the NICHD and conducted by investigators at the NICHD and 14 universities around the country, the study was spurred by the increase in the use of early child care over the past decade. In 1991, the NICHD study of early child care enrolled more than 1,300 families and their children from 10 locations throughout the United States. The children, who were less than one month old at the time they were enrolled in the study, have been followed through their first grade year.

"Day care has come into increasing use in recent years," said NICHD Director Dr. Duane Alexander. "NICHD's far reaching, comprehensive study will continue to provide valuable insights into what is, for many families, an absolute necessity."

At the AAAS briefing, several researchers from the study will present their findings: