Hidden stress of the nursery age

23rd August

An article in relation to how children can find it very stressful when they first start nursery after being at home with their parents full time to being left at a nursery. Many find it quite difficult to adapt and change. As such this article suggests, firstly easing them in to this transition by slowing introducing them to nursery, secondarily giving the child a lot of love attention when then get home

  • Study finds hormone level soars when daycare starts
  • Extra time with parents needed to help calm down
  • Toddlers starting at nursery after being at home since birth experience high levels of stress in the first weeks after separating from their mothers, and are still showing “chronic mild stress” as long as five months after their first day in the new environment
  • In a further insight into the way young children react to daycare – an increasingly common experience for UK toddlers as more and more mothers return to the workplace – a related study also reveals that children at nursery do not see a drop in cortisol levels over the day as they would at home
  •  need extra time and attention at the end of the day to help bring them back to “emotional equilibrium” ready for the next day at nursery.
  • Without that comfort from a parent, the children start the following day “hyper-aroused”, which can lead to behaviour problems or disobedience.
  • The findings do not mean that daycare is bad for children, and there is no evidence yet of long-term effects of raised cortisol levels, according to co-author Michael Lamb of Cambridge University.
  • UK’s childcare provision, the majority of youngsters now spend at least part of their pre-school years in some form of childcare.
  •  In March this year, there were 518,000 full daycare places in England, generally in nurseries, according to the inspectorate Ofsted, with the number of children using them even higher because some places are part-time. Childminders provide 316,000 more places, and playgroups, after-school clubs and crèches bring the total registered places for under-eights up to 1,468,300.
  • full-time regular childcare place for every four children under eight, compared with one for every nine when Labour came to power in 1997, and the government plans further expansion under its 10-year childcare strategy launched last December.
  • high levels of group-based care can have damaging effects on some aspects of emotional and psychological development for children under two.
  • One way of controlling the build-up of stress, is quite simply to minimise the time children spend in care each day
  • Psychologist Oliver James, author of “They F*** You Up”, said while having time with children at the end of the day was better than nothing, much better would be to organise our society in such a way so that women genuinely feel valued and have status higher than that of street cleaners if they do want to look after their children”.



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