ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary Education

ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary EducationLead advisor on early childhood care and education 
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Publisher of the New Zealand-International Research in Early Childhood Journal


An Australian Parenting Expert says ECE/Childcare is Bad for Children in his Latest Book

© ChildForum 

Steve Biddulph, a psychologist and parenting expert who is well known for his work on raising boys in particular, has just released a new book called Raising Babies – Should under-3s go to Nursery?

In it, he suggests that attending childcare/ECE for long periods is bad for young children. Mr Biddulph studied several international and national studies of infants in long-term day care for the book. He argues that the studies combined with research into babies’ brains, which suggests one-to-one care is best for developing brains, shows that being enrolled in daycare for long periods can have a detrimental effect.

Many of the studies relate to levels of cortisol or stress hormones present in young babies with findings suggesting that babies in childcare for long hours have higher levels of cortisol. Research also suggests that changes to the brain in the early years can affect the way a child reacts later to things such as stress and anxiety.

Mr Biddulph said he acknowledged that some people would be angered by the stance the book was taking and others would feel guilty for having to put their children into daycare and said he was initially afraid to release the book because it was confrontational.

The book has been released in Britain but there are no plans to release it locally at this stage.


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