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Wiring for Success: National Research Linking Early Child Care with Adolescent Development Aletha C. Huston University of Texas at Austin Presentation.

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Presentation on theme: "Wiring for Success: National Research Linking Early Child Care with Adolescent Development Aletha C. Huston University of Texas at Austin Presentation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Wiring for Success: National Research Linking Early Child Care with Adolescent Development Aletha C. Huston University of Texas at Austin Presentation to E3 Alliance, July 28, 2010

2 Research Publication  Do Effects of Early Child Care Extend to Age 15 Years? Results From the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development  Deborah Lowe Vandell, Jay Belsky, Margaret Burchinal, Laurence Steinberg, Nathan Vandergrift  and the NICHD Early Child Care Research Network  Child Development, 2010, Vol. 81, pages 737-756

3 Background  1980s  Rapid increase in employment by mothers of young children  National Institute of Child Health and Human Development convened experts to discuss impacts of infant child care  Initiated study to follow children from birth to 3

4 Study Begins 1991 1364 parents recruited at birth of infant

5 Two Perspectives Quality early childhood education and care promotes cognitive and social competencies Early child care results in reduced parent- child attachment and problem behaviors Understanding the conditions under which early child care is linked to children’s functioning has been a primary aim of the NICHD Study of Early Child Care since its inception in the early 1990s. 5

6 Problems in Earlier Research  Small, non-representative samples  “Selection bias”  The amount and quality of child care depends partly on family characteristics.  Correlations of child care with child development may be due to family differences  Did not separate the quality, amount, and type of care  Little known about individual differences

7 Sampling Plan and Subject Recruitment n Sites selected by competitive review of proposals (scientific merit), not on basis of demography. n Ten sites and the associated 24 hospitals define the sampling domain of the study. n All births in study hospitals during the recruitment period define a catchment which is the “reference population of the study.” n Sampling designed to produce unbiased estimates of effects for the catchment while assuring adequate representation of major socio-demographic niches. 7 Location of Data Collection Sites

8 8 Sample Demographic Characteristics (N = 1364) at Recruitment Income-to-Needs Income-to-Needs 0-1 (poverty) 5.9% >1-1.8 (near poverty) 11.9% >1.8 (nonpoor) 82.2% Maternal Education Maternal Education No HS Degree 6.3% HS Degree or GED19.7% Some College 33.2% College Degree or more40.9% Child Ethnicity Child Ethnicity White, Non-Hispanic79.3% Black, Non-Hispanic10.5% Hispanic 6.2% Other 4.1% Child Gender Child Gender Male51.7% Two-Parent Family Two-Parent Family Yes76.5%

9 9 Data Collection Schedule n Major assessments were observation and interview n Intervening phone contacts were made every 3 to 4 months in early years, every 6 months later Schedule of Assessments Child Age (in months) Assessment 16152436541 st 3 rd 4 th 5 th 6 th 9th Family Child Care/school Child functioning

10 Child Care Measures  Observed quality assessed at 6, 15, 24, 36, and 54 months using 4-point scales  Sensitivity, responsiveness, cognitive stimulation, not detached,  Hours of non-relative care - Mother reports of hrs/wk from birth to kindergarten entry  % center type care - Mother reports of types of arrangements every 3-4 months (16 epochs in all) 10

11 Distributions of Child Care Quality, Hours, and Center Type Note: Quality categories: Low 1-2.75, Moderately Low 2.75 -3.00 Moderately High 3.00-3 30 High 3.30-4.00 Hours categories: Low 0- 40 Center Low 0, Moderately Low 0-33% Moderately High 33-%67% High 67%-100%

12 Early Results  At age 15 months, no overall relations of child care to security of attachment to mother  Children in high quality care had better language development  Children in long hours of care had less sensitive mothers

13 13 Results at Age 4 1/2  Child care quality  Children in high quality child care in first 4 years had better pre- academic skills and language skills  Child care quantity  Children in long hours over 4 years had more behavior problems at school  More true in low quality and large groups of peers  Child care type  Children with a lot of experience in center-type care had better language skills, but also more behavior problems  Family characteristics mattered more than child care

14 Research Questions at Age 15  Does early child care predict academic achievement and behavioral adjustment at age 15?  If so, why? Are links between child care and age 15 outcomes a result of earlier effects of child care?  Are links different for children with different levels of family risk?

15 Adolescent Measures  Cognitive-Academic Achievement – standardized individual tests  Risk Taking – e.g., riding motorcycle without helmet  Impulsivity – difficulty in waiting, quick decisions  Externalizing behavior problems (e.g., aggression, delinquency) - youth report

16 Efforts to Reduce Selection Bias  16 Early ChildhoodMiddle ChildhoodAdolescence Child GenderX Child EthnicityX Income to needs ratio XXX Two parent household XXX Maternal EducationX Maternal PPVTX Maternal Adjustment X Maternal Depression XXX Parenting QualityXXX Classroom qualityXX

17 Quality of Care  At age 15, youth who had received high quality preschool care had  High cognitive-academic achievement  Low rates of externalizing behavior

18 Quality and Academic Achievement Observed Quality

19 What Effect Sizes Mean  Cognitive academic scores  Average = 100  About 17% of population scores above 115  Comparing scores of youth with different levels of child care quality: High (3.8) = 104 Middle (between 2.7 and 3.3) = 101 Low (2.0)= 98-99  Externalizing  High quality about 2 fewer behavior problems

20 Quantity and Type of Care  At age 15, youth who had experienced high hours of care from birth to kindergarten had  Higher risk taking  Higher impulsivity  No differences in externalizing  At age 15, youth who had experienced high amounts of center-type care did not differ from those who had less center-type care

21 Hours Effect Sizes

22 What Effect Sizes Mean  Externalizing – not statistically significant  Risk taking – Youth with high hours (>40) of care report about 1 more risky behavior (occasional) than those with average hours (10-30 hours)  Impulsivity – Youth with high hours of care (>40) report slightly more problems with impulse control than those with average hours

23 Why?  High quality care boosts language and cognitive skills early; these carry through the school years  High hours in care increase externalizing early; this pattern carries through the school years, manifesting in risk taking and impulsivity  High quality alleviates effects of high hours on externalizing

24 Conclusions  High quality child care predicts cognitive and academic achievement  High quality child care predicts reduced externalizing behavior problems  Long hours in child care predict impulsivity and risk taking  No lasting effects of center-type care  No evidence that effects differ by family risk  Effect sizes are small but important

25 Thank you!

26 Next Food for Thought When: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 Where: Leander ISD Title: Ready or Not? Desired Professional Skills for Our Entry Level Workforce: Results from 2010 AHRMA* Member Survey * Austin Human Resources Management Association

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