We and other pediatric journals have published more than our share of articles noting the benefits of good child care in promoting early brain development—but what if your child enters child care socioeconomically disadvantaged?
Can child care narrow that inequality gap? Laurin et al. (doi/10.1542/peds.2015-0419) share the results of a population-based prospective cohort study of more than 1200 families of newborns who were classified by their socioeconomic status as well as by whether their child received high versus low intensity (meaning high numbers of hours) child care or no child care whatsoever and then followed the academic progress of this cohort for 12 years. The results are quite impressive in showing that early participation in high intensity child care can eliminate the social inequalities in academic performance even when one controls for a variety of confounders that can influence academics from birth to school entry.
If you need a study to sing the praises of early child care, then do your homework and read this study and in turn share the results with your patients’ families. Hopefully in doing so, you can encourage and help those who are disadvantaged to get the supports needed so their children can enroll and benefit from early high intensity child care and in turn a great start forward with their academic progress.