Effects of Childcare Centers on Mother-Child Interaction and Child Development

Abstract The present study investigated the impact of childcare centers on mother-child interaction and on child development in the first two years of a child's life. The study was comprised of 44 children (M=6.4months, SD=1.6) and their mothers (M=34.1years, SD=5.2) divided into two groups: Childcare Center Group (N=21) and Non-Childcare Center Group (N=23). The infant development was evaluated at 6, 12 and 18 months and mother-child interaction was assessed at the 12th and 18th months. The results revealed that childcare centers did not affect the quality of mother-child interaction and did not set apart the groups in relation to child development (cognitive, language, socioemotional), indicating that middle and upper class families and qualified childcare centers can be equally beneficial.