Preschool Suppresses Social and Emotional Development

A new report released this month by researchers at the University of California Berkeley and Stanford University found that preschool attendance has negative effects on the social and emotional development of children, effects that were most strongly seen in children from better-off-families. Co-author of the study, UC Berkeley child development research director Margaret Bridges, expressed concern, “Cognitive benefits are great, but we have to pay heed to what’s going on with kids emotionally and socially.” The study found that all children who attended preschool at least 15 hours a week displayed more negative social behaviors when compared with their stay-at-home peers.
The National Institute for Child Health and Human Development’s newly issued report arrived at virtually the same results and found that long hours in daycare and preschool slow a child’s social development.
“So, the report’s a bit sobering for governors and mayors – including those in California, Florida, Georgia, New York, North Carolina and Oklahoma – who are getting behind universal preschool,” comments Co-Author and UC Berkeley professor Bruce Fuller. In light of these findings, Morningstar Educational Network hopes that the press, politicians and pastors will focus rather on what is best for children and encourage families to make the necessary arrangements so that mothers can stay home and raise their young children. To help in this effort, Morningstar Educational Network sponsors Considering Homeschooling Ministry, a national outreach encouraging parents to care for and preschool their young children at home.
“These negative social behaviors children are displaying are getting worse,” reports Denise Kanter, Morningstar’s research advisor. “In December of 2003, Time Magazine reported on the consequences of negative emotional and social problems among young children. In Time’s report, the child-advocacy group Partnership for Children survey showed that 93 percent of 39 schools responding said kindergartners today “‘have more emotional and behavioral problems than were seen just five years ago.” A majority of day-care centers, which host the tiniest tots, revealed that “incidents of rage and anger” have increased over the past three years. Time’s reporter further quotes the survey leader as explaining, “We’re talking about children–a 3-year-old in one instance–who will take a fork and stab another child in the forehead. We’re talking about a wide range of explosive behaviors, and it’s a growing problem.”
“A child’s success in life and academic performance hinges on their healthy social and emotional development. Young children need to be at home bonding with their mothers and fathers,” concludes Denise Kanter.
Background: For more information regarding homeschooling, daycares, preschools and this news release visit
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