Letter: Proper nursery care is fine

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The Independent Online
Sir: I am very sorry that the conclusions of our study concerning early group care have been somewhat misunderstood ("How nursery breeds bad behaviour", 13 September).

This might give rise to unjustified anxiety in some mothers who use good day-care centres for their babies, and to a deprecation of the work of many excellent caregivers. Moreover, while our findings agree with the results of some researches conducted in the USA, they disagree with other studies conducted in Europe.

In particular, we stressed in our paper that some undesirable outcomes of early group care seems to occur for some children who spend too much time (eight or more hours per day) in the centre, who start group care in the first or early in the second year and who are emotionally more weak.

When there is not an abuse of day care, when its quality is good and parents are able to establish warm relationships with their children coming back home, positive outcomes may be found.

Both my son and my grandchild attended a good day care centre, and have grown well.


Professor of Developmental Psychology

State University of Milan