Hours in non-parental child care are related to language development in a longitudinal cohort study

M. P.C.M. Luijk*, M. Linting, J. Henrichs, C. M. Herba, M. L. Verhage, J. J. Schenk, L. R. Arends, H. Raat, V. W.V. Jaddoe, A. Hofman, F. C. Verhulst, H. Tiemeier, M. H. van Ijzendoorn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: The effects of child care services on several domains of child development have been extensively investigated, but evidence regarding the effects of child care on language development remains inconclusive. Methods: Within a large-scale population-based study, we examined the longitudinal associations between non-parental child care and language development from 1 to 6 years (n = 5375). Results: Results showed that more hours in non-parental child care were associated with better language abilities. However, more hours in care in the first year of life were associated with less language proficiency at ages 1 to 1.5. At later ages, this effect disappeared and language proficiency increased. Furthermore, children who spent more hours in centre-based care had better language scores than children in home-based care. Ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender or parity did not change these results. Conclusions: This large, multi-ethnic study demonstrates beneficial effects of non-parental child care, particularly centre-based care, on language proficiency later in childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1188-1198
Number of pages11
JournalChild: Care, Health and Development
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

Luijk, M. P. C. M., Linting, M., Henrichs, J., Herba, C. M., Verhage, M. L., Schenk, J. J., ... van Ijzendoorn, M. H. (2015). Hours in non-parental child care are related to language development in a longitudinal cohort study. Child: Care, Health and Development, 41(6), 1188-1198. https://doi.org/10.1111/cch.12238