Health & Family

In the pantheon of parenting decisions — natural childbirth or epidural? Infant carrier or convertible car seat? — deciding on child care holds sway among the biggest stressors. For full-time working parents, day care is where Junior will spend the bulk of his waking hours. It’s not a choice to be made lightly.

Research has shown that high-quality early child care can have a significant impact on children’s well-being, and now a new study in the journal Child Development finds that it’s important for Mom too.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin looked at data from more than 1,300 children whose care settings were evaluated at various intervals from the time they were a month old until they turned 4½. Their mothers were interviewed too. Those moms whose kids were cared for early on in “high-quality nonparental care” settings — either in day care centers or in others’…

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