New research from the London School of Economics and Oxford University, The development and happiness of very young children, has highlighted the benefits for children of attending nursery, because “it helps them to develop social and everyday skills”.
‘Dr Laurence Roope, of the Health Economics Research Centre at Oxford, said: “It should give parents some reassurance that nurseries are not going to harm their children, and are likely to be beneficial.
‘”It seems that what is important is engaging in interactive activities with the child.”
‘The researchers said the benefit of nursery appeared to increase as children spent more time there.
‘”We’re not saying that they should be spending 24 hours a day there, but it does seem spening more time there had significant benefits,” added Dr Roope.
‘The study was based on answers from the German Socio-Economic Panel which surveyed more than 800 mothers and quizzed them about their financial status, education and the progress of their children when they were aged two and three.
‘Questions such “Can your child cut pieces of paper with scissors?” or “Can your child speak in two-word sentences?” were used to gauge how well youngsters were developing.
‘Singing children’s songs and painting and doing arts and crafts were found to have a positive impact on dexterity, which researchers linked to the actions associated with songs and the hand skills needed for arts and crafts.
‘Reading or telling stories, singing children’s songs and visiting other families were unsurprisingly also both found to have a positive impact on talking capabilities.’
‘The researchers said children were often exposed to more stimulating activities at nursery, as well as interacting with new children and adults, which helped their development.’