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Message To Mom: Don't Worry - You're Still Number One With Your Toddler

Armen Hareyan's picture

Daycare and Parenting

As any mother with a child in day care can tell you, a major worry is that Junior will develop a stronger bond with his daycare provider than with his mother. Now a study published in the May/June issue of the journal Child Development should put their minds at ease. The study, by researchers at the Free University of Berlin, the University of Magdeburg-Stendal and Technical University of Dresden, all in Germany, and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, found that while child/parent and child/care provider relationships share some important associations, children are much more likely to form secure attachments to their mothers than to their daycare providers.

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To reach their conclusions, the authors re-examined the results of 40 studies of nearly 3,000 children with an average age of two-and-a-half. The researchers used the same types of measures that assess children's relationships with their parents to assess the relationships formed between the children and the adults responsible for them in childcare facilities.

The researchers found small but reliable associations between measures of child-mother, child-father, and child