A copy of the full review is available at the end of this article.
The methodologically soundest (best) research over the past 20 years on the effects of participation in early childhood education and care was selected and assessed.
Studies were selected using a set of strict criteria, including that they:
- followed children from a young age (as opposed to sampling children when they have left or are due to leave to go to school), and
- were not reports of high cost intervention overseas programmes for different ethnic groups impossible to duplicate here in NZ for the same outcomes.
As the review was a systematic and critical one, and independently conducted, it did not suffer from biases often inherent in literature reviews and publicly funded reviews.
The findings of this critical and systematic review may be controversial because the findings differ from political claims about what research says.
This paper presents the major pieces of research and the strongest evidence available on what the positive and negatives effects of childcare are, and discusses the evidence in the light of current policy directions in New Zealand.
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