Relations Between Parenting Quality and Cognitive Performance of Children Experiencing Varying Amounts of Childcare


  • The authors thank Dr. Friedman for the useful discussions throughout the research period and to both Drs. Friedman and Bradley for comments on earlier versions of this manuscript. This study was conducted by the NICHD Early Child Care Research Network supported by NICHD through a cooperative agreement that calls for scientific collaboration between the grantees and the NICHD staff. The study was supported by the I.B. Harris Program at Bar-Ilan University and the L.A. MACHADO CHAIR for Cognitive Modifiability.

concerning this article should be addressed to Esther Adi-Japha, School of Education, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel. Electronic mail may be sent to


Associations between parenting quality and 3-year-olds’ school readiness, receptive, and expressive language were examined in relation to the amount of time they spent in childcare, based on data from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (N = 1,364). Associations for school readiness and receptive language were stronger among children who experienced medium amounts of childcare than among children who experienced high amounts of childcare, and they were not weaker than among children who experienced primarily maternal care. Contrary to expectations, the association between parenting quality and school readiness among children who experienced medium amounts of childcare was significantly stronger than among children who experienced predominantly maternal care.