Nurseries not harmful for children

Babies and toddlers may benefit from attending nursery, says development expert


Nurseries do no harm to the majority of children under 2, new research has found. The study, carried out by Dr Kathy Sylva, professor of educational psychology at Oxford University, suggests that those who attend nurseries will be able to form better relationships at primary school.


Millions of children in the UK attend nurseries when their mums return to work. However, a raft of experts have criticised mums who choose this, stating that children do better when cared for by their parents full-time. Oliver James notably claimed that mums of toddlers should avoid working outside the home and not leave their children for long periods of time. 

“A lot of parents worry unnecessarily about this issue but my research shows that the vast majority of children are not impaired on any measure by attending nursery under the age of 2,” Dr Kathy told the Sunday Times.


The nurseries attended by the 3,000 children in the study were “average” to “high-quality”. Dr Kathy did accept, however, that a small number of children placed in nurseries before the age of 2 showed a slightly higher level of aggression when they reached primary school.

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