“New research published on 21 September has found evidence of harm to children in universal daycare,” FamilyVoice Australia research officer Ros Phillips said today.
“The study used a variety of measures to evaluate Quebec’s heavily subsidised universal daycare program, which began in 1997. By 2000 it covered children aged 0-4. The researchers found that overall, these children had worse health, lower life satisfaction and higher crime rates later in life.”
The strongest impact was on boys, who became more aggressive and hyperactive. Girls became less "pro-social" and caring.
“These findings should not come as a surprise,” Ros Phillips said. “Properly conducted daycare studies have pointed to similar problems for some time – as noted in this article in Psychology Today.
“Long daycare is unavoidable for some families, but parents should be aware of the risks. Sadly, successive Australian governments have rewarded families who choose daycare while punishing families who choose parental care. The former receive two tax-free thresholds plus childcare subsidies, while the latter receive one tax-free threshold and Family Tax Benefit B – which does not come close to compensating for the missing support.
“I urge the new Minister for Science (Christopher Pyne) to deliver this scientific evidence to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Social Services Minister Christian Porter.
“Australia needs tax reform that would encourage families with children under three to choose parental care rather than long daycare. The latest research shows that such a reform would have the potential to build happier, healthier and more pro-social citizens in the 21st century,” Ros Phillips said.
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