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Community Influences

     Parents alone do not shape a child as an individual. Children are affected by extended family, relatives, siblings and people in their community. As well, the outside world enters the child's life through the media. One of the first encounters a child may have with the outside world is through day-care. Day-care in North America is divided into two categories - Family day-care and day-care centres. Family day-care involves a licensed homeowner running a day-care out of their home. Day-care centres are licensed as well, however they offer more of a variety of formal learning experiences.

Characteristics of a High Quality Day-care:

     A good day-care should include: children who are enjoying themselves in their play and learn, small groups of children and a low ratio of caregivers to children, organized and appropriate activities, equal attention devoted to cognitive, social, emotional and physical development, staff meetings and progress evaluations, and the inclusion of parents to observe, discuss and suggest changes about the program.

The Effects of Day-care:

     Day-care centres are more effective than home owner day-cares with respect to intellectual learning. Positive effects of day-care include an increase of intellectual development, a lessening of the decline in intellectual performance that would be due to poor environments and gains in cognitive and language developments. Socially, children are more self-sufficient, independent, helpful, co-operative, verbally expressive, knowledgeable about the social world and more comfortable in new situations. However, there are negative consequences to day-care situations. Children can be less polite, less compliant and more aggressive when involved in day-care. These effects are due to the amount of time spent in full-time day-care - with more aggressive behaviour being related to more time spent in day-cares.

Related Links

Child Psychology
Infancy
Learning
Attachment
Early Childhood
Mental Development
Social development & Identity
Aggression & Prosocial Behaviour
Parenting
Middle Childhood
Adolescence
Developmental Psychology
Problems of Children & Teens