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In an English sample of 1016 families, use of childcare was investigated at 3, 10, 18 and 36 months. Child behaviour problems and social competence were assessed at 36 months by maternal questionnaire. There was no effect of the amount or type of childcare on disruptive behaviour at 36 months, the main predictors being maternal minority ethnic background and previous harsh maternal behaviour. Compliance and expressiveness were predicted by maternal sensitivity. Expressive behaviour was also associated with more childcare from 19 to 36 months, specifically nanny or nursery care. Overall there was no evidence of adverse consequences of childcare in the first three years, and some limited evidence of benefits. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

Original publication




Journal article


Early Child Development and Care

Publication Date





1215 - 1229