Good vs. Bad Child Care: Impact on Developing Children Term Paper

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¶ … Quality Day Care Services on the Developing Child

Young children's healthy development must proceed properly to insure that they develop into adults capable of achieving their best potentials. More and more parents of young children today must go to work or school and entrust this healthy development to child care centers or caregivers in their absence (Medline Plus 2007). The need to choose the one best fit for the purpose is paramount, considering the length of time their young children stay in these centers or with these caregivers. Their children's experiences in these centers or with caregivers can enhance or harm their healthy development. Some offer quality care and some offer poor quality care. Under the circumstances, parents take a calculated risk.

Literature Review

Washington Post. Survey Faults Lax State Oversight of Child Care. WashingtonPost.com: Washington Post Newsweek Interactive, March 1, 2007

National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies survey ranked Virginia 15th in providing child care. The survey found that Virginia and other States exhibited laxity and oversight in operating child care centers. Idaho was adjudged the poorest. Other States, which did poorly, included Louisiana, Kentucky, Nebraska, California and Kansas. The research group director urged Congress and State legislators to take proper and prompt action nationwide.

Grooms, Autumn. Quality Child Care Expensive. La Crosse Tribune: ProQuest Information and Learning Company, January 14, 2007

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The author writes that close to 12 million children less than 5 are placed each week in some type of child care. The National Association of Child Care Resources and Referral Agencies recently reported that the cost of child care exceeds the average rent and other monthly household expenses. While child care subsidies are available in many States, many low-income parents have problems coming up with the required co-payments. Hence, some parents are compelled to sacrifice quality or change from one child care provider to another to fit their budget.

Term Paper on Good vs. Bad Child Care: Impact on Developing Children Assignment

Meyerhoft, Michael K. Child Care Centers and Socialization. Pediatrics for Parents: Pediatrics for Parents, Inc., August 2004

Meyerhoff discusses how the economic, cultural and social revolution in the country 50 years or so ago has driven young women and mothers to join the workforce. To adjust to the change, child care centers were set up to keep the children while their parents worked. Scientific evidence stands that children raised primarily at home develop much better social skills than those who spend a lot of time in group care. These young children in the company of other young children in group care learn social skills among themselves through imitation and operant conditioning. Every child will try some strategy, which will get him what he wants. In addition, many parents have started to feel guilty about separating from their children and leaving them in the care of others. They wish the situation could be more beneficial. Parents can make the arrangements needed to address this problem, but they should not be distracted away by modern conveniences from the fundamentals of authentic human development. When a problem turns up, the author invites parents to focus their attention on the expectations they place on the child's behavior rather than on the child's behavior itself.

Baker, Howard. Child Abuse. Encyclopedia of Medicine: Gale Research

Child abuse can be physical, sexual or emotional abuse or neglect. Child abusers can be parents or other family members, caretakers, other children or even strangers. Caretakers can be teachers, babysitters or others within the day car center. Child abuse was considered a minor social problem, affecting only a handful of U.S. children. but, in recent years, experts began to suspect that official data could be reporting fewer incidents than actually occurred. This type of abuse was mostly committed secretly or privately and its victims were too young and scared to speak out. Furthermore, in 1996, more than three million victims were reported to child protective services. More than a million cases were substantiated. In the same year, 1.5% of the country's children were confirmed victims of child abuse.

Bower, Bruce. Mom-Child Relations Withstand Day-Care Attachment Behavior in Infants. Science News: Science Service, Inc., April 27, 1996

Bower writes about the finding of a long-term national study on the impact of regular child care outside the home on the healthy emotional connections between mothers and their infants. If the infant receives insensitive, unresponsive care from their mother, the relationship suffers. Otherwise, a securely attached infant calms down and re-establishes contact with its mother after a brief separation. On the other hand, an insecurely attached infant either ignores or avoids its mother and shows no signs of reassurance on her return.

Hypothesis child who is placed in regular day care can withstand brief separations from his or her parents and grow up to be a well-rounded individual as long as he feels inherently valued, his or her basic needs are met and he is allowed to engage in play.

Method

The paper uses the descriptive-normative method of research in recording, describing, interpreting, analyzing and comparing gathered information from various authoritative sources.

Findings and Discussion first-of-its-kind survey conducted by the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies revealed that many States were lax in enforcing regulations over child care centers (Washington Post 2007). Virginia was ranked 15th among these States and Idaho at the lowest and worst rank. Other States, which did poorly, were Louisiana, Nebraska, Kentucky, California and Kansas. The director of the Association sent feelers to Congress and State legislatures to address the problem and work out solutions on a nationwide basis. Among the surveyed conditions in the child care centers in these States were infrequent inspections, deficient safety requirements, and low hiring standards for employees in these care facilities. On the other hand, the highest marks went to military centers in other States. These centers have expanded and shown substantial improvements in the past 15 years. They also provide state-of-the-art training and safety standards (Washington Post).

Child Abuse can be the form of physical, sexual or emotional abuse or neglect (Baker 1999). In many cases, a child is subjected to more than one form. His abusers may be his parents, other family members, caretakers, like babysitters or teachers, acquaintances like other children or even strangers. The phenomenon was previously viewed as a minor social problem and affecting only a small group of children in the U.S. But an increase in reported cases called greater attention from the media, law enforcement and the professions. On account of the secrecy of the incidence and the age of abused children who were too young and too afraid to report their experiences, experts began to suspect that official figures could be much less than the actual occurrences. In 1996 alone, more than 3 million victims of child abuse were reported to child protective services and a million of these cases were substantiated. This meant that 1.5% of the country's children were abused in 1996 alone. In 77% of the confirmed cases, the abusers were the parents themselves and 11% were relatives. Male family members or relatives accounted for most of the sexual abuse cases and the majority of neglect cases were committed by females. Most importantly, 1,000 of these abused children in 1996 alone died (Baker).

Physical abuse or the non-accidental infliction of physical injury to the child is usually committed by a family member or another caretaker (Baker 1999). In 1996 alone, 24% of confirmed cases involved physical abuse. A rare form of physical abuse, called Munchausen syndrome by proxy, is often committed by a caretaker who seeks attention by making the child sick or look sick. A child victim of sexual abuse is often related to or knows the abuser. Sexual abuse represented 12% of the confirmed 1996 abuse cases. Emotional abuse consists of rejection, ignoring, isolation, or terrorizing the victim, the consequence of which is the lowering of the child's self-esteem. Emotional abuse usually takes the form of verbal attacks of rejection, scapegoating, or belittling the child. Emotional abuse often accompanies other types of abuse, is seldom reported and the most difficult to prove. Neglect results when the child's basic needs are not provided. Basic needs are adequate food, clothing, shelter or supervision. Emotional neglect is the failure to provide or satisfy a child's normal emotional needs. It can also be an act or series of acts, which damages the child's normal emotional and psychological development. Neglect accounted for 52% of confirmed abuse cases in the 1996 survey (Baker).

Parents who entrust their young children to the care of others or in day care center should recognize the symptoms of abuse and determine their causes (Baker 1999). Typical symptoms of physical abuse include unexplained or suspicious bruises or other marks on the skin, such as burns, fractures or the shaken baby syndrome or impact. Head injuries, in particular have been the leading cause of death from abuse. Symptoms of sexual abuse include genital or anal injuries or abnormalities, such as the presence of sexually transmitted diseases. Physical symptoms of sexual abuse,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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