Impact of childcare arrangements on developmental outcomes of Korean children in their first 2 years

Yoon H. Lee1, Jiyun Lee2
1Department of Teaching and Learning, College of Education , Temple University, United States
2Center for Benefit Cost Studies in Education, Teachers’ College , Columbia University, United States
Cite this article:  Lee, Y. H., & Lee, J. (2016). Impact of childcare arrangements on developmental outcomes of Korean children in their first 2 years. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 44(5), 737-750.

Volume 44 Issue 5 | e4972 | Published: June 2016 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2016.44.5.737

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We investigated whether center-based care has a positive impact on children’s development in comparison to in-home care or activity programs, such as music, physical, play, and sensory experience classes. Using nationally representative data gathered from 2,078 families with children in South Korea, whom we monitored from birth to the age of 2 years, we utilized linear regressions and a propensity score matching method to examine the impact of center-based care on the children’s development. Results suggested that participation in center-based care positively affects only the child’s development of gross motor skills, whereas in-home care and activity programs showed a broader positive influence on children’s development, such as their communication and problem-solving skills. The benefit from center-based programs was much smaller compared to that of other care arrangements. On the basis of these results, we suggest the use of various forms of publicly funded childcare services, including more active utilization of in-home care, with service quality assurance measures. We expect our investigation to provide possible directions for childcare policies across cultures.

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