Child care’s effects seen in behavior, vocabulary

WASHINGTON – Children who got quality child care before entering kindergarten had better vocabulary scores in the fifth grade than did youngsters who received lower quality care.

Also, the more time that children spent in child care, the more likely their sixth grade teachers were to report problem behavior.

The 1,364 children in the analysis had been tracked since birth as part of a study by the National Institutes of Health.

In the study’s latest installment, being released today, researchers evaluated whether characteristics observed between kindergarten and third grade were still present in fifth grade or sixth grade. The researchers found that the vocabulary and behavior patterns did continue, though many other characteristics did dissipate.

The researchers said the increase in vocabulary and problem behaviors was small and within a normal range.

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