Do effects of early child care extend to age 15 years? Results from the NICHD study of early child care and youth development.


Journal Article

Relations between nonrelative child care (birth to 4(1/2) years) and functioning at age 15 were examined (N = 1,364). Both quality and quantity of child care were linked to adolescent functioning. Effects were similar in size as those observed at younger ages. Higher quality care predicted higher cognitive-academic achievement at age 15, with escalating positive effects at higher levels of quality. The association between quality and achievement was mediated, in part, by earlier child-care effects on achievement. High-quality early child care also predicted youth reports of less externalizing behavior. More hours of nonrelative care predicted greater risk taking and impulsivity at age 15, relations that were partially mediated by earlier child-care effects on externalizing behaviors.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Vandell, DL; Belsky, J; Burchinal, M; Steinberg, L; Vandergrift, N; NICHD Early Child Care Research Network,

Published Date

  • May 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 81 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 737 - 756

PubMed ID

  • 20573102

Pubmed Central ID

  • 20573102

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-8624

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0009-3920

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01431.x


  • eng