“‘Research unclear on how daycare affects child development”is a must-read column by Andrea Mrozek, manager of research and communications at the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada, in today’s Montreal Gazette, succinctly explaining a lot of data from a recently released study. Mrozek concludes by making an important point:

The childcare research field does not lend itself to unequivocal statements, or easy guilt-free policy solutions.

Advocates of daycare selectively read studies to point to data that supports the notion that institutional care is just fine for children, that there are no consequences to dropping off one’s kids with strangers for the day, and that parents, especially mothers, should have no qualms in doing so. Unfortunately for parents who face difficult decisions about child care arrangements, the data doesn’t support such a clear-cut position.