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PostPosted: 31.01.2009, 21:15 
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Day care is bad for babies - Steven Biddulph
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2006/03/ ... e=fullpage


T'S A tough call and one that no working parent will want to hear:
child care used "too much, too early, too long" damages babies' brain chemistry and affects their social and emotional development.

But when the warning is delivered by a parenting guru and psychologist with 30 years' experience - and 4 million book sales under his belt
- ignoring the message may not be an option.

Previously an advocate of quality child care,
author Steve Biddulph has spent the past five years examining and distilling the results of national and international studies of infants in long day care.

In a new book, Raising Babies - Should under 3s go to Nursery?,
he argues that this growing international body of work combined with neurobiological research clearly suggests
that at least during the first two years of life, brain development unfolds at its optimum with one-to-one care.
This care could be from mother, father, a loving relative or, if necessary, a single, attentive paid carer.

Significant among the reams of research are the so-called cortisol studies,
which measured the presence of stress hormones in young babies
and consistently found these levels to be higher in children in long day care.
These have been linked with greater aggression and anxiety found in older children in long day care
but are also known to affect the development of a range of neurotransmitters,
whose pathways in the brain are still being built.
These permanent brain changes are now thought by scientists and psychiatrists
to affect the way the child will react to stress, anxiety and negative feelings in later life.

"This book presents much objective evidence,
but it also carries a strong professional opinion for which I don't apologise," writes Biddulph.
"It is likely that some people will feel angry after reading this book
and it will be unsettling for those who feel trapped by economic circumstances
into placing their babies and toddlers into nurseries when they would rather not.
But my responsibility as a psychologist and educator is to be honest,
and convey current findings and knowledge without gloss or deception."

However, the new book, which has just been published in Britain,
will not appear in Australian bookshops.
Biddulph told the Herald this week there were no plans to publish locally for now.

In his author's foreword, Biddulph writes he was initially "afraid to release this book …
Its message was so confrontational, so against the tide."

But when his own and fellow psychologists' disquiet began to be matched by research
and this was coupled with the burgeoning trend towards corporatisation of child care and the imposition of profit over quality,
he decided it was time to speak up:
"I had started out as a believer in the ideal of quality nursery care and the role it played in allowing women to broaden their lives …
but the more I saw of the reality of day-care centres and nurseries
and the more conversations I had with parents and carers,
it became clear to me that the reality never matched the fantasy.

"The best nurseries struggle to meet the needs of very young children in a group setting.
The worst were negligent, frightening and bleak:
a nightmare of bewildered loneliness that was heartbreaking to watch.

"Children at this age - under three - want one thing only:
the individual care of their own special person.

Even the best run nurseries cannot offer this."
Biddulph says the invention of child care has been necessary, thanks to the harried nature of modern life.
Whether motivated by idealism or corporate greed,
it aimed to "slot messy and needy young children into the new economic system,
while at the same time reassuring us that it is good for them, socially and educationally".

Child care is now so well marketed, he writes,
that even parents at home have begun to feel that they might not be as good for their babies as the "professionals".

"The critical, rarely mentioned core of nursery care is
that our children will be looked after in bulk - on a 1:5 or 1:8 ratio, compared to 1:1 at home.
Like McDonald's fast food, we can enjoy the convenience of drive-through, ready-made, fast-parenting;
through the miracle of mass production."

Biddulph believes the rapid adoption of child care in the early years has been a huge social experiment,
a gamble by parents that "everything will be OK".
But the results of that experiment are now emerging
and the worldwide epidemic of teenage depression, anxiety and substance abuse suggests all may not be well.

"Society has become more materialist and fatally neglected the place of caring …
Governments have failed to protect families from corporate pressures
and many people can no longer afford to care for their own children," Biddulph writes.

"Quality care appropriate to very young children does not exist.
It is a fantasy of the glossy magazines.
If your heart has been uneasy about these things, it is probably right.
But you can find a better way."

Care options in order of preference
______Fremdbetreuung nach Wert absteigend


:arrow: Engage a close relative or friend who you trust and who loves your child.
______Nimm eine nahe Verwandte oder Freundin, der du vertraust und die dein Kind liebt.
:arrow: Employ a trustworthy family day carer you know personally.
______Stelle einen vertrauenswürdige Tagesbetreuerin an, die du persönlich kennst.
:arrow: Find a quality day-care centre with stable staff you can get to know and about whom you feel comfortable.
______Nimm eine qualitätsvolle Kinderbetreuungseinrichtung mit beständigen Betreuerinnen, die du kennst und mit denen du gut zurechtkommst.


What's best by age

0-1
No child care at all. Keep baby with parent, relative (or trusted babysitter for short breaks).
______Keine Fremdbetreuung. Laß das Baby bei den Eltern, Verwandten (oder vertraunswürdigem Babysitter für kurze Zeit).
1-2
One short day with a trusted carer. Ideally a one-on-one carer-to-child ratio; one-to-three at most.
______Ein kurzer Tag mit einer vertrauenswürdigen Betreuungsperson.
2-3
Two short days a week with a trusted carer. Building up to short days in a quality centre but only if the child settles well.
______2 kurze Tage mit einer vertrauenswürdigen Betreuungsperson.
3-4
Up to three short days or half days in quality care.
______Bis zu 3 kurze Tage oder halbtags in qualitativ hochstehender Betreuungseinrichtung.
4-5
Up to four short days or half days in quality care.
______Bis zu 4 kurze Tage oder halbtags in qualitativ hochstehender Betreuungseinrichtung.

__________________________________________________________________________________________
Mehr Information (deutsch) hier:

Tatsachen und Forschungen

Ganztägige Fremdbetreuung von Babys = seelischer Schaden
Berufstätige Mütter sind ein politischer Fehler, OÖN 7.2.01
Kleinkind bei Mama & Papa - Tagesmutter o. Krabbelstube
Frühkindliche Fremdbetreuung ist schädlich!
Umfrage zur Betreuung von Kleinkindern
Was brauchen die Kinder - was tut ihnen gut?
An erster Stelle steht das Kind
SOS – Familie retten heißt Europa bewahren!Verstaatlichung der Kinder
Kinder im Zangenangriff von Linken und Industrie
Kinderbetreuung privat/öffentlich_ein Kostenvergleich


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